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What to do if you don't know what job you are looking for

Sometimes people stay in jobs because they don't know what else is out there. Searching for opportunities by job title can be unhelpful too. Take a look at the unusual jobs listed in this infographic.

If you don't know what you are looking for, it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. And because that feels like such a big challenge, it's easy to put off.

So here are 3 suggestions to help you get clearer:

ONE | Ask people you know about the work they do and what they like about it.

You may think you know exactly what your friends and relations do in their work. But do you?

Or you may feel embarrassed about asking, because you want to appear successful and happy in the job you're in. You don't have to let on that you're looking for another job if you don't want to. You could say you're curious about people who love their work.

Most people love talking about themselves and their work, especially if you ask them about what they enjoy about what they do, who their role models are and why. It will help you understand what their work values are (what's important to them about their work), and in doing so, whether yours are similar or different. Having heard more about that, you then have a source of information and potential contacts who can tell you more. You can also ask them if there is anyone else they suggest you talk to.

TWO | Look at job ads to find out what interests and excites you

Do a brainstorm - first of all to identify the types of job that you might be interested in. Look at job boards to see the general headings that jobs are listed under. Think about the types of industry where those jobs might be. Then identify companies, organisations or brands that you'd like to work for.

Use those initially to do a job search to identify the types of role that might play to your strengths and interests. Look at the role descriptions and highlight those aspects that spark your interest. Keep a note of these as this activity will help you build up a picture of the type of role that you'd like to find.

Do this on a regular basis. Then review what you have found and use words that feature frequently to widen your job search.

THREE | Start to build up a picture of the role you want and the organisation you'd like to work for

Increasingly, enlightened companies are encouraging applicants to specify the role you want. So you're not responding to a specific job ad, but spelling out the type of role you'd like to have. Name your job is a great example of this.

They do this because they want motivated talented people who are attracted to working for their specific organisation. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to write your own job description for a role that you'd love to do in an organisation you'd love to work for!

This all takes time - not helpful when you want to get a new job tomorrow because you're fed up of the one you're in. But I'd argue that is not a good platform to look for a new job anyway...

But definitely time well invested to help you find the role that suits you and that you will be happy in.

You'll find more information about what will help your job search here.



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