The top 10 questions to ask yourself before a job hunt
So, you’re in a situation where you are either unemployed or at a job that no longer satisfies you. You’re about to start job hunting and sending out as many resumes as you can so that you can start on a more fulfilling journey. There is a huge process that lies ahead, and most people are more than ready to jump right into the job hunt. But first, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself to determine what you need and what you can give. These questions will also help make sure you’re getting a perfect start to the job hunt, with the right support, headspace and knowledge!
- What is my value?
What can you bring to a new workplace? This is important because you’re going to have to know how to sell yourself both in an interview and on your resume. It will also assist in building up your own confidence. As part of the job search we can often apply to companies and never hear back. This can lead to self-doubt. Don’t let that happen! Realise your value. Remind yourself of all your unique attributes that you bring not only to a workplace but to other people too.
- What was I happy with at my last job and what was I unhappy with?
Think about all the things you love about your job but also what you don’t like. This will help you target companies that align with your needs and wants. You will know which job ads to respond to based on your identified likes and dislikes. It will also help you to properly understand why you want to leave your current company which is likely to be a topic in any job interview especially when there is no clear-cut reason for your departure.
- What motivates me?
Learn what truly motivates you. Use it to motivate you in your job search. Sometimes job hunting can be tedious and often not every place you send your resume responds. Make sure to stay motivated and not lose hope. Knowing what motivates you is also a good topic when in an interview!
- What do I truly want and value in a job?
Knowing the answer to this question will help you to thin down the list of potential employers. Yes, we all want to hand out our CV to everyone just so we have that extra chance of landing a job interview. But there’s no point of a job interview at a place that doesn’t offer what you need. For example, if you need a job that pays more than you are on now, but get an interview for one that has a much lower starting salary… well, we all know you’d be wasting yours and the companies time. You can also gather an understanding of what kind of challenges you are after and what kind of growth you may want within a company. Perhaps you want something that will allow you career progression. Keeping these things in mind in an interview will help you ask the right questions.
- What am I willing to compromise on?
We can’t always get everything that we want. Think about the ideals you are willing to work around but also think about the things you can’t budge on. For example, if you know you need to work close to home for personal reasons, but the commute would be over two hours, it’s probably not the job you should go for.
- What kind of work environment do I work best in?
Do you prefer hustle and bustle? Or would you rather something quieter? We have to think about how we work best. Whether it be on a team or on your own. It’s not just about whether you are most productive in a quiet environment over a loud one though. It’s also about enjoying the company culture. Maybe you prefer to keep work relationships strictly professional. Maybe you would enjoy a bit more of a fun and friendly workplace. These are the kinds of things that will affect you every day! We spend more time at work with people than we do at home, so you will want to make sure where ever you are applying for, suits who you are and what makes you productive as well as fulfilled.
- Where do I want to be in the next five years?
You’ll probably get asked this in an interview. And it’s one of the questions that can stump anyone. Five years? Some people don’t like to think that far ahead. But trust me, it’s best to think that far! This will outline your real goals, ambitions and needs. It will also help you prepare an answer to the dreaded interview question. When you think about all it is you want to achieve in the near future, you will begin to think about which job and company will help you get there.
- Who can help me in my job hunt?
Use all the tools you can! Before jumping right in, consider going through a recruiter or agent. They will know best how to fit your skills, experience and personality to one of many jobs from their database. Recruiters are an excellent source of support as they can help you secure an interview, prepare for it, and guide you into your new job. They make all the stress of job hunting much easier.
- Is my CV and LinkedIn profile up to date?
Of course, make sure your CV and LinkedIn profile are completely up to date. They also should align with each other. Sometimes we can be so eager to update our resume and send it out, desperately seeking a new job, but we neglect our LinkedIn profile that hasn’t been updated since we started our last job! My best advice is to be as active as possible on LinkedIn always. This way, it doesn’t fall out of mind when job searching. It will also be a great link to add to your resume so that potential employers can see how you communicate and interact online.
- Have I prepared myself enough / Am I ready to start my search?
The best thing to do is to create a checklist that reminds you of all these questions, as well as the physical things that need to be prepared and researched before you go on your job search. Tick them all off, then you’re ready to begin.