You have a job, but you want a new one. What do you do?
I know how you feel—I was there for months, until I landed my fantastic role here at the Ad Council, a company I’ve dreamed of working for since my grandpa told me Smokey Bear stories on his lap on the porch of his cabin.
Here are 5 steps you can take to make the process work for you. It will always be a challenge, but anything worth having always is.
1. Take an Inventory of Yourself
Spend time thinking through what you like, what you hate, what you want and what you don’t want. From there, you’ll be able to identify moments and relationships and opportunities that guide you in the direction you want.
2. Raise Your Hand
Now that you know what you want, start asking for it.
- Is there an extra project at work that leans in your direction? Snag it.
- Can you volunteer for an organization in a way that gives you a new experience? Make time.
- Are there people who do the badass things you want to do? Meet them.
3. Let It Be Known
You know what you want, but that doesn’t mean others know what you want. The supportive people around you naturally want to help you – but they can only do that if they know what’s helpful for you.
Let it also be known that you can be a resource for the people in your life. The more people you help, the more people will help you along the way. Keep up with your connections, check in on their lives, listen and respond to their stories.
4. Make It Possible
Always, always remember that you can do anything. It might take creativity, it might take extremely hard work, it might take a dollop of craziness, but you can make it happen. Find what you want, investigate yourself to see what you can bring to the table, then focus on the pieces that bridge the gap – there are moments in your experiences that qualify you, highlight those.
5. Hold The Power Card
Your time is valuable. Ideally, it’s spent growing, learning and expanding. In the job hunting process, it’s important to remember the power you have in several scenarios:
- Interviews are a two-way street. Test the organization as much as they’re testing you. Do whatever you need to do to make sure it’s fantastic.
- Take your time. Ensure you’re getting into a great scenario – if it’s right, the timing will feel right.
- Remember the freedom in consulting or freelancing. If ideal opportunities aren’t panning out, your skillset can be applied to several projects. These tasks might seem scary, simply because they’re part-time or lack benefits, but sometimes they lead to greater knowledge and unique occasions.
- Nothing is permanent. After you jump into something, you might want to hop right back out. You can do that. As you do, learn as much as you can – negative experiences often teach us the most valuable lessons.
Take this advice to heart, or throw it out the window. You’re in control now. It’s thrilling, it’s terrifying, it’s hard, it’s fun, as any adventure should be. Enjoy!