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The Most Important Questions

Posted    by Todd Nicholas

In today’s competitive job market, it’s crucial to find a job search strategy that will differentiate you from other job seekers. You may be asking yourself “How do I do that?”  The first step is to focus on finding answers to the right questions.

Too often, job seekers spend their time looking for answers to the wrong questions. There are two main questions that we consider to be the “wrong” questions: (1) What have I done in my career? (2) What might someone hire me to do? Though both questions are relevant, they are secondary in the job search unless you desire to be one of the masses.

Having successfully worked with hundreds of professionals and executives in career transition, I can say without hesitation that the majority of those who are happiest in their next role spent very little time on those two questions. Instead, they spent the majority of their time on the most important questions:

What do I want to do next?

Who do I want to work for next?

Once you’ve answered these two questions, you can be proactive and contact those companies. In essence, to get the best job where you will be happiest, you want companies to know about you before they post a job, not after they post it.

Why? Because once the job is posted, your level of competition goes up exponentially. Just over 50% of jobs filled every year are never posted (including the job that I am in now).   This makes depending primarily upon posted jobs a poor search strategy.

Ask yourself: “If I could have a job at any company, what would that job be?” Next, make your list of the top 10 companies where you’d like to work in that role. Then actively pursue contacts at these companies to seek out and land that job. All it takes is one of those ten target companies and, before you know it, you’re working at one of the best places you desire to work! It beats competing with the masses for a posted position at an undesirable company.

How would you answer the two most important questions?

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