What Do You Want?

My son just recently entered the professional job market and one networking contact recently asked him “what do you want?” My son (not really knowing what he wanted) answered the best he could and the manager repeatedly asked “so, what do you want,” or “why?” The interview was certainly annoying, but good natured and in the end, very profound.

Too often, when asked “what do you want” the job seeker says “I just want a job.” While I can understand the frustration and urgency behind that statement, rarely is it true. There are always jobs open if you want to work hard and not get paid much. I was fan of the TV show “Dirty Jobs” and they shared lots of jobs I really wouldn’t want.

As a job seeker, you need to be clear with yourself and others, who you are, and what you want. You may have to accept reality and you may not get what you want every time, but you can keep working toward that goal. If you just earned your degree in Accounting and think you want to be a CFO someday spend you energy looking for jobs that utilize those skills and fit that path.

Try to avoid begin overly general like “something in sales” or “something where I work with people” – both Wal-Mart greeters and corrections officers work with people but they are very different jobs.

Spend time thinking about what job you’d really like. If you’re not sure, use networking to learn more about different jobs. Go to a local Career Center (aka Unemployment Office) and they’ll probably offer a free job interest assessment. Figure out what you do best and what you like to do, then look in that market for a job.

Focus your job search and it will improve the quality of your networking and help you find that next job. And as the Rolling Stones Say “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time, well you just might find, you get what you need.”

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