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The Job Hunt – The Series: The Planning and Evaluation Stage

This is the second article in our series on the job hunt. In the first article we developed an overview of the process including some of the many steps that are involved. Remember the job hunt in New York City is a “full time job and this series is intended to help you to understand how to spend that time. It is intended to help you to understand where your best return on investment might be.”

In this article we will cover the planning and evaluation stage. Here we hope to give you some tools to use in deciding what kind of job you want and is the timing right for changing jobs. We hope to help you look at the deeper questions such as why you want to change jobs and what wrong with the one you have.

“What Color is your Parachute?”

This whole process of evaluation and planning when it comes to a serious job change was brought to the forefront over 40 years ago with the first publication or “What Color is your Parachute?” in 1970. When Richard Nelson Bolles wrote this job-seeker manual it was ground breaking and has since became the bible for job hunters. It is as relevant now as it was over 40 years ago.

So how do you evaluate and plan your search? The answer is mostly by asking yourself a lot of hard questions and searching deep for your answers. Still it would be helpful to have a guide to what those questions might be. You could read and work through “What Color is Your Parachute?”, or you could follow some of the assessments we offer here.

  • Make a list of your skills – try to include all kinds of skills those you use in your current job, any you used in previous jobs, and those you use off the job in hobbies or for fun. Include everything no matter how irrelevant it might seem.


  • Now rank your skills according to the ones you like to use the most. Try really hard NOT to rank them according to what you do on your job, but rather what you enjoy doing.


  • Make a separate list of the skills you enjoy doing and rank those skills. Continue the process until you have the top 3 skills that you enjoy using the most. Now do these3 skills fit any jobs, any profession or any field you can think of? If they do great. If not keep repeating the exercise until you have 3 skills that you enjoy doing and that fit one or more professions.


  • Now set that exercise aside and take some time with paper and pencil to design your dream job. What would it look like? Where would it be? What skills would you be using and what would your level of responsibility be? Who would you report to and who would report to you if any? Remember this is a day dream, be as specific as possible.


  • Taking both the skills information and perfect job information put together an image of a real job that matches your skills, your interests, your dreams and your goals. Once you find the type of jobs that match these items, you will have found the jobs best suited for you.

Where Can You Live

Now that you have found the types of jobs that will provide you with the best match and the best chance for long term success and security, you will need to research where those jobs are and whether or not you can or are willing to move in order to attain that job.

In the next article in this series The Job Hunt , we will look in depth at the process and the questions that surround the relocation possibility.