Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Why we search

Job search is about finding work. Career research aims a little higher.

Research helps you understand the work you want and how to find it.

Career research aims for a job and an environment where you can get the most from your strengths, where you are valued for what is important to you and motivated to achieve new career goals too.

Does it sound like an impossible task when put like that? Like looking for a needle in a haystack as your Granny might say?

[Derek saw it, but his next job was a long way off]

 [Thanks to Saundra for the use of this image.

Check out her amazing Flickr Photostream here!]

Research ensures that all of your experiences count. Even the ones you might look back on as mistakes. Research helps to make your learning cumulative. Each phone call, interview, application process, networking conversation or chat over coffee, moves you one step closer to your goal. The goal of work that satisfies our short-term priorities but also moves us closer to personal career success as a long-term objective.

Earlier posts on this blog have shown how even the knock-backs and the disappointments can work in your favour. You might resolve never to make a particular error again, or that your communication will improve in a particular situation, or that your next opportunity doesn't break down for the same reasons as the last.

Stuart (a friend who is currently career researching & job searching) recently said to me that his entire career experiences are what he gets most excited about when he talks to potential employers. Not just his glowing successes or wonderful references - all of his experiences. All the past lessons, struggles, errors of judgement, obstacles and challenges too.

Stuart realised that his career experiences - when looked upon as a whole - are what make him an attractive proposition in the job market. That is because, without the full range of his experiences, he wouldn't be the same person. The person who can now confidently state where he wants his career to go in the future. The person confident he will recognise the right job opportunity when he encounters it. The person who knows what he has to say and do to make the right opportunity count.

In my opinion, Stuart is absolutely right. When we realise the value to employers in all of our career experiences, we present answers and solutions in a more human form. Our experiences can prove that we know what we are doing and where our careers are going too.

Stuart and I apologise if any of this upsets your Granny but - with the right support from career research - the needle and the haystack need no longer apply!

Here are some more posts on research, job search & managing your career:

Research not Job Search

Know what you are doing

Listening to career feedback

Career Management from within

When failure defines success

Failure & Success: Inseparable Career Twins

All the best for now,


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