Your job search preparation depends on various factors. Including the stage of your career, your current job status, your desired career path, and the gap analysis you discovered during the self-branding process. First, we look at these four factors. Then, we offer resources.
Stage of Your Career and Job Search Preparation
For purposes of this discussion, we focus on two of the many career stages — entry-level and mid-career.
If a person is starting out, job search search preparation is likely to involve talking with family, friends, and professors. Looking at career guides and government forecasts. And researching employers online.
In this instance, the following infographic — by UC Irvine — may represent a typical pattern of activity. Note: Start at the beginning at the bottom of the infographic (1).
If a person is mid-career, job search search preparation is more apt to involve talking with colleagues (inside and outside the present firm), head hunters, and contacts made at LinkedIn and through professional associations.
In addition, he or she must know what is required to get to the next level in the career path. See the infographic below by Brent Tworetzky for Medium. It highlights different functions during a product management career. [This infographic is adapted from Tworetzky.] Look at how the expected functionality increases across across the career path.
Your Current Job Status and Search Prep
When you are working, there is probably more time to do in-depth job search preparation than if you need to find a new job to generate an income. Nonetheless, a person who is out of work should not skimp on generating and projecting a current self-brand.
Consider this from Blush Online Life. Coaching.
Desired Career Path and Search Prep
Here, we want to make two points. One, we should research the expected trends for industry sectors and job categories. In the future, what occupations are expected to see employment growth, steady employment, and declining employment? Two, how does your skill set fit with those forecasts (gap analysis)?
Take a look at these U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts.
Gap Analysis and Job Search Prep
At this juncture, we need to understand not only the skills required to do a job well, but also our own deficiencies. Do we need further education, etc.? Why are we noting this again? Because in doing a job search, we must be sure that we have the sought-after skills. Thus, any gaps should be closed before beginning the search. Or, we have to be more realistic in terms of what we can accomplish now.
According to the World Economic Forum, these are the most highly desired job skills. Do what you can to maintain or develop them.
The US. “bible” of the job/employment market is the online Occupational Outlook Handbook.
For industry-specific information, trade associations are quite helpful:
- Wikipedia List of U.S. Trade Associations
- Planning Shop List of U.S. Trade Associations
- Directory of 35,000+ Trade Associations