When you begin your job hunt, starting is usually the hardest part. Getting the ball rolling and the momentum going, takes the most effort. So, it’s incredibly important to have a plan. When you have a plan laid out it becomes a lot easier to keep track of what you’re looking for. Find out how to create a plan and why you should have one at all,  below.

Why Are you Looking for a New Job?

Are you wanting to find a new job because you want more pay? To find a job closer to home? Or are you looking for a new job because you want something different? If you want a different job, is it because you don’t feel challenged in your work anymore? Or because you don’t enjoy the industry in which you are working? Digging into these reasons before you even begin your job search will help you figure out what your goal actually is. When you know the reason behind wanting a new job you can better determine your wants and needs going forward.

Create a Job List

After you figure out why you want a new job, think about what you would want in a new job.  From hours, days of the week, location and culture, to all the things you know you don’t want – determining this will help you when you’re looking for jobs to easily filter out what you don’t want and speed up the process. If you are scrolling aimlessly through an “all jobs” job board, with no direction you’ll find yourself getting burnt out ten times faster and killing your momentum.

 Create a “You” List

Next, figure out a list of things that YOU have to offer. Jot down qualities, strengths, weaknesses and any other traits that you may have. If you can dissect how you are as a candidate, and what you can bring to the table, it will help you assess where you will personally fit best.

Research

After you’ve made a list of the industries or companies you’d want to work and a list about yourself as a candidate, the next step is to figure out what jobs are out there and where is hiring. You can research on job boards, on LinkedIn, or companies’ specific websites. If you want a less hands-on approach for yourself, sort through your network to see if anyone you know, knows of any open positions. Utilizing your contacts is a great way to find new opportunities. And of course, you can contact a recruiting agency to assist you with your search. Recruiters have a vast network and can help pair you with any available positions they feel would be a good fit that you may not have even known about otherwise.

Keep Track

Keeping track of the positions you are applying for will help you better follow up after the interview. Whether it be in a notebook, excel sheet or the notes section of your phone – jotting down notes throughout the process will be helpful later on. Especially if it comes down to evaluating positions and choosing one, having something to refer back to will help you make a better-informed decision.

Be Patient

Having a lag time between starting your search and finding a job is normal, so keep that in mind during the process so you don’t get discouraged. Chances are you’re not going to find a job on the first day of your search, so staying positive and proactive will help keep you motivated and excited.

What are the things that you do for your job search plan? Comment below!