Step 1 Know What you Want

Know what you want!

Isolate your target. 

"No wind favors he who has no destined port." - Montaigne

Remember Paul from the "Real people. Real results" page? He got 12 interviews AND the job he wanted in just 2.5 weeks! THAT is the power of isolating your target ... before you begin your job search or even write your resume.

So, can you tell me what job you want, and tell me the names of a few companies that interest you ... in 30 seconds or less? If so, that is fantastic! Move on to Exercise 11: What I want and write it down. If you have any hesitation about what you want, please read on. It's important!

The best-kept job hunt secret

The more you focus on what you want, the faster you will find it.


It may sound counter intuitive, but it's true. Taking this approach will increase your job search success by 86%, according to a study by Richard Bolles in his book "What Color is your Parachute." I've seen this truth play out over and over and over again ... for myself and thousands of others. 

If only more people knew that! Sadly, few people do ... and it shows:

The average job search right now is taking 25 weeks!

(Source: Bureau of Labor & Statistics)

Egads!!!! That's over 6 months! That is unacceptable, and things don't have to be that way!

The reason most job seekers take so long to find a job is that they jump in at the deep end. Your job search does not have to take anywhere near that long. We're going to help you avoid all of the biggest mistakes people make when looking for a new career or job. 

I promise you: once you get clear about what you want, and where you can find it, the job leads will start flying in. Everything will be easier, including: knowing where to look, who to talk to, how to present yourself in interviews, and how to ask for what you want financially (without seeming desperate).

"Why can't I just figure this out as I go along?"

Well, you can ... if you are working full-time and are in no rush to make a move. You can approach this as "market research" right now and casually expand your network and explore all sorts opportunities. However, if you need a new job right now (cannot stand your boss, you're about to get laid off or you're unemployed), they you cannot afford to waste time in all the wrong places. If you take a little time to isolate your target before you hit the streets, you will slash months off your job search. Truly.

If you don't have a clue what you want to do next, that's okay!

We'll help you figure it out - step by step.

As I said earlier, very few people do know exactly what they want to do next. This might be the first time you've asked yourself that question since high school or college. I'm afraid it normally takes a crisis (a layoff or a rotten boss) to push us into asking that again. Well, now is your chance. Something brought you here, and there is no better time to explore opportunities.

These next few videos and exercises will help you rediscover your passion and uncover what you really want from work.

5 simple steps to figuring out what you want

  1. First, dream big! Our easy exercises will help you get back in touch with what you wanted when you were young, before responsibility started getting in the way of doing everything you wanted. Think first about the life you want, not the job you want. When you were ten years old, what did you dream of doing with your life? When you were fifteen? Twenty? What would you do if you won the lotto tomorrow and did not have to work another day in your life?
  2. Then revisit your past jobs. The Career Happiness Chart offers a fresh new way to look at where you've been, and where you were at your best. Our easy exercises will help you separate the good ("I loved that job!") from the bad ("Whoa ... I never want to do that again!") Stand by to see how valuable this exercise is. It will help you pick the right target job, and prepare your for some of the toughest interview questions like "Tell me about the worst boss you ever had" and "Why did you leave that job?" and "Why do you want to work for us?" 
  3. Next, make a list of the things that matter most to you. Worksheet Exercise 10: My non-negotiables and Worksheet 11: What I want will make it easy. 
  4. After that, you'll be ready to identify the job (or jobs) you really want. Exercise 12: My perfect job is an easy template for you to capture the ideal role.
  5. The last step is a "reality check" to figure out two things: 1. Are you really qualified for the job you want and 2. If you're qualified, are your transferable skills and experience coming through in your resume and discussions with employers.

With Exercise 13: Identify the gaps, you do a brief "reality check" to pinpoint the skills and experiences you need to go get that dream job. Chances are good you're ready to get that dream job right now with a little more focus, better self-branding and clearer communication. There is a possibility, however, that you'll need to pick up a little more experience or education before you're ready for the ultimate career move. That is perfectly fine! Once you know this, it will be easy to take a straight path toward your perfect job.

This last step is one most people skip

It's a terrible shame when people are too afraid to do this exercise, because without this step so many things can go wrong. 

Sherry's story: From 12 months of confusion to her dream job in just a few weeks!

When Sherry came into our program, she had been unemployed for over a year and was feeling hopeless. She hated her last two jobs (she was in sales, and then in community development). All she knew was "I do not want to do that kind of job again!" She did these next few exercises, and everything turned around for her. She figured out that what she really wanted was to get into college admissions and counseling. She redid her resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect those, stopped applying online and started networking. She found a new job just a few weeks later ... doing what she wanted. She is still there 5 years later! 

Honesty: the best gift you can give to yourself.

Throughout this process of self-discovery, you must be honest with yourself. The clearer you are about where you have been and where you want to go, the easier it will be. This is not about what other people want. This is about who you are, where you are at your best, and what you want. Perhaps friends are pushing you to go for a management job because you are good at it and it pays well. Yet, in your heart, you really do not want to manage people anymore. Be honest with yourself about that. If you go for the management job anyway because other people think you should, you will not be happy there. Worse, you may not be very successful in that role, largely because your heart is not in it. That is a vicious cycle to get trapped in. So stop the madness! Follow your heart.