Plan Your Career Search Journey

Plan Your Career Search Journey

Now that you are in the right mindset to launch your career search and you have created a mental picture of what your successful career search looks like, I encourage you to continue your plan for each stage of your journey. Nothing can derail a seemingly-successful search much more quickly than the lack of a sound, well-implemented plan of action. That being said, it is all-the-more imperative that you find a way to remain focused on your objective, and not only consistently move closer to your realization of it, but also maintain balance. Over the next several weeks to months, each of my posts will address a different aspect of the career search process…from resume writing, selecting search mediums, and setting up search agents, to interview attire, interview etiquette, developing work portfolios, salary negotiation, and many more topics of interest to active career searchers. Today, I will share with you Installment I of my recommendations for enacting an effective plan to help you stay organized, on task, and relaxed as you progress towards your next assignment.

Remember that during the post previous to this one, you envisioned your ideal job, with the organization that you choose; the work schedule that you want; in the (city/town, state, country, etc.) where you want to live and work; at the salary and with the health and wellness benefits that you want; the vesting and retirement plan that you seek; your ideal amount of paid time off; as well as the colleagues and the physical and emotional work environment, as well as any of the other characteristics that you need to be motivated to your highest levels of creativity and productivity.

Now, for each individual characteristic, you need to identify the steps that you will take to make each respective characteristic a reality. These are the minute details that, if properly attended to, can transform your career search journey from potentially stressful, to smooth as butter. For example, if you do not already live in an area that is within a comfortable commuting distance of where you envision that your new job will be located, you need to make finding information on housing in the area a priority. Some may ask, “Why focus on housing if you don’t even have a job in the area yet? The reason is that housing is usually one of our most expensive financial commitments, and will likely impact your minimum salary requirements. Even if you are not the candidate of choice for the first opportunity that you interview for, it will likely not be long before you land a great position, which as you will realize is the best one for you.

As you take each new step in the direction of success, you will need to stay motivated. One way to do so is to get a picture frame and, instead of inserting a traditional or typical photo, create a story board of images, symbols, quotes, thoughts, and words that represent your vision. Thumb through books, magazines and news articles to find words like success, happiness, peace, tranquility, fulfillment, and any other positive affirmations of your personal success story. Also look for a picture of your dream house, car, wardrobe, restaurants in your target area, representations of hobbies, recreational activities, and a picture of a $100 bill, or other denomination of your choosing. Once you complete your success storyboard, insert it in your picture frame and place it on your night table beside your bed; on your bedroom dresser; or in some other prominent place in your home where you will see it early each day, and often. Some might prefer to follow the traditional advice of framing a one dollar bill, or taping it to your bathroom mirror, to represent one dollar from your first paycheck from your new job. I like that advice; however, as I expressed in my previous post, I like to make the vision plain, so I think that my contemporary take on the subject, supports a more-complete vision. Regardless of which perspective you choose, your motivational centerpiece will be one of the first things that you see when you arise in the morning and will motivate you to do something concrete each day that will move you towards your career search goal.

For additional steps that you can take to increase your career change success, I invite you read “Creating a Career Change Budget,” from one of my favorite blogs, InspiredWork, at This post reminds you of the many considerations you must take into account when making aspiring to make a career change.

You are on your way!

Author: FirstWeb

Who Is Cynthia B. Okonkwo? I am a wife and a mom who is a people person by heart. I live in metro-Atlanta and work as a Human Resources professional and have over twenty-four years experience in the field. My experience includes Compensation, Training, Recruiting, Employee Relations, Benefits, and Selection Procedure Development; however, Employee Relations is my passion because I enjoy interacting with others and helping them to solve problems. I became interested in Human Resources while on a work-study assignment during my sophomore year in undergraduate school. I chose management as my major because I was not quite certain what I wanted to do after college and I knew that an off-shoot of Business Administration was a safe, general choice that could help me get into a number of career fields. My work-study assignment was as an assistant to the campus Director of Career Services. There, I learned to make cold calls to area businesses to seek out employment opportunities for students and alumni. I also learned how to format vacancy announcements and resumes. Since writing had always been one of my strengths, I enjoyed my assignment so much that I requested to be reassigned to that department for most of the remainder of my undergraduate career. My Director also provided resources on job interview preparation and she allowed me to type resumes for students who did not have one and charge $1 per page to make a few extra bucks. I got a full-time job immediately after graduation, but it wasn’t in Human Resources; however, I had a Vice President who took me under his wings and allowed me to review employment applications for job openings at the Distribution Center where I worked, so this helped to strengthen my resume. It took me about two and a half years to secure my first full-time job in the field of human resources where I became a trained test developer for the State’s Government Merit System. From there my career has continued to grow. My blog was born out of my desire to write a book that provides practical job search tips and advice, from a spiritual, holistic perspective. After having drafted about three chapters, I got busy with grad school and obtained my MBA; got married and started a family. In 2013, I became SPHR (Sr. Professional in Human Resources) certified. I started seeing other people’s blogs, became interested and thought that blogging might be a great alternative, or spring board to completing my book, so here we are today. My sincere hope is that what I write will help someone. Enjoy!

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