Know Yourself Before Job Hunting

When they ask me how to better prepare for interviews and upcoming opportunities, our conversations always come back to the same theme: self-awareness. Without knowing yourself really well, a job search can be nearly impossible.

For those who are “passive” seekers, this conversation also applies to you. Just because you aren’t actively job searching doesn’t mean you are immune from having to know your wants and desires when a new job presents itself.

Be authentic and honest with yourself about your current job. What are your favorite parts of your job? What would you change? What don’t you love?

Now, think about your future job. What is missing for you now? What would you love to keep doing? Stop doing?

Know the answers to these questions so well for yourself that you can articulately share them with interviewers. Employers want to know what drives you and what you want. You have to know these answers for yourself first.

Finding this hard? That’s because it is. We often want to compare our careers to those of others, but we may confuse our feelings about our career with the values that our companies put forth for us, and we can’t always hear our own opinions. This is your path. Treat it as such.

Becoming more self-aware about your career is a personal journey. You don’t have to “jump on a bandwagon” of leaving if you don’t feel ready in your gut.

In other words, listen to yourself, not to everyone else. The best placements happen when candidates are crystal clear about their motivators for considering a new role.

Be brave, self-aware, honest with yourself and clear about your motivators — and your career will progress in new ways.