When I first sit down with a new career coaching client, I always start by asking “What’s your job of choice and who’s your employer of choice?”
I ask this for two reasons.
One, I really want to make sure that I steer my client into their dream role. I don’t want them to take any old job. I want them to be in the role where they can bring the most value.
Because that’s the role they will love doing. That’s the role they will excel in.
As an executive recruiter, my sweet spot is when I put together the company and the candidate who are perfect for each other. That’s a great day in the office for me.
Two, my strategy for each client will depend on where they fit into the four quadrants of the job market.
Here’s a simple illustration of these four quadrants:
In Quadrant Two, you want to stay in your current industry but you’re looking for a new role.
In Quadrant Three, you enjoy your current role but you want to move to a new industry.
In Quadrant Four, you’re looking for a complete change – new role, new industry.
Use the concept of these quadrants to really think about the direction and focus of your job search.
There are a couple of traps for job seekers that I want you to avoid.
One trap is that, if you’ve lost your job, you’ll take anything as a replacement. Of course, I understand and respect your need to earn a living. And if you need to take a job as a stopgap, then please do so, with my blessing.
But keep going with the process of really thinking about your career goals. You will be most successful in a role where you know you are bringing real value. Strive to plan your next career move so that you can move gracefully from your stopgap job to a more fulfilling role.
The second trap for job seekers is not taking the time to fully explore all the options. Sometimes I see candidates who are so desperate to leave their current role that they don’t realise they are about to walk straight back into another unhappy situation, just with a different name over the door.
Please think about other roles you could enjoy that are within your current industry. How could you leverage your industry knowledge? Then, brainstorm other industries where your skill set could deliver great value. What gets your heart beating a little faster?
Do some research.
Connect to people who work in other industries and ask their advice. Look at the profiles of leaders in those industries and see where they’ve come from. You never know, they might be able to help you!
In my next article, I’ll talk more about the four quadrants and when you can – and can’t – expect recruiters to assist you. Please follow me on LinkedIn so you don’t miss it.