Friday, August 23, 2013

9 Questions To Ask Yourself During A Job Search

Melissa C. Martin

“Be all you can be.” Do you remember that TV ad the American army used for a time? Stop and think right now. Are you really doing everything in your power to move forward in your job search? 

Here are nine key questions to self-assess: 

1. What Do I Really Want? The question of the ages. Find something that you are good at. Look at interests – they are the cornerstone of career decision making. Take advantage of assessments, positive performance evaluations, job placements, and credentialed career practitioners to assist you. 

2. Should I Really Change? This is going to depend on what STAGE of change you are: 

Pre-contemplation (no intent to change where the job seeker is). Ex: “I just need a job because my parents/spouse… and then everything will be fine.” 

Contemplation (desire to change; confidence to start) Ex:” I really want to work. I don’t want to be unemployed.” Preparation (decision to change) Ex: “I’ve started to use my new skills and now I’m going to a job placement.” 

Action (attaining goals). “I know where I want to go now.” 

Maintenance (planning for high risk situations) Ex: “It feels good to be working all these years.” The stages of change model (SOC), has been effective for youth, newcomers and people with disabilities. If your are in stage one, you do NOT have motivation to move forward. 

3. What’s The Bright Side Of A Long Job Search? One of my counselling trainers said, “No problem exists twenty-four-seven except chronic illness.” Tell yourself that unemployment is temporary. Even better, tell yourself that others are experiencing worse things than you right now. Re-frame your negative-talk so it doesn’t sabotage career success. 

4. Am I Comfortable With What I’m Doing? See #2. Sometimes the best career decisions involve SOME degree of discomfort. Gauge your results and outcomes, otherwise, step out of your comfort zone. Underestimate, instead of overestimating goals and action plans.

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