CHICAGO, IL -- Before you start your job search, get clear about what you really need to thrive instead of survive at work. Doing a better job defining exactly what you want doesn't mean your ideal job will magically appear, but it will help you focus your job search on opportunities that have greater potential for long term career growth. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which values are most important to you right now? You may have chosen jobs based on money before, but maybe autonomy and growth are more important for you now.
- What experience or opportunity is missing in your current work? If your current tasks are not challenging you, the same job description in a different company won't make a difference.
- What kind of opportunity will allow you to do your best work? The same job in a different industry could make a big difference in job satisfaction and growth potential.
- What kind of work environment, culture, and values do you want in your next employer? Use your network and online resources to get background information before you spend time applying to companies that may not be a good fit.
- What thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs about work do you need to let go of in order to attract different opportunities? Remember, you will attract what you give attention to. Are you holding onto a belief that work has to be hard? Or maybe you expect that managers are always out to find your flaws.