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Why Focus Is So Important in the Job Search

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have to find a job, any job, and fast? My clients usually find themselves in one of two situations:

1. They’re at a place in their career where they can take the time to be more intentional in discovering the most meaningful next step for their career.

2. They’re suddenly out of a job they had no intentions of leaving, often due to a layoff. They need a replacement job  fast.

The latter situation is where clients feel they don’t have the luxury to be picky with their next job. But if they aren’t somewhat selective, they can delay the time it will take to find their next opportunity.

How a lack of focus hurts your job search

Even if you find yourself in a desperate situation, you should resist the temptation to take the first job offer you get. You should also resist the temptation to apply to any and every job you see advertised.

Employers and recruiters can recognize a lack of focus immediately just from reading your resume and cover letter. Also, lack of focus is especially evident if you’re applying for several different jobs with the same company.

Both of these things can send up red flags for employers. They don’t want to pursue a candidate who lacks focus or seems desperate.

This in turn can delay finding a job and extend the length of your job search. In addition, the rejection will erode your confidence. And lack of confidence will hurt you in any future interviews you land. All of this can make you more desperate, which creates a vicious cycle.

A better use of your time

You can improve your job search by taking the time you would spend in the cycle described above and instead using it to develop focus. This will keep you on track with the average time it takes to find a job. Also, it will help you find a more fulfilling job and perhaps one with a higher salary.

In addition, by not taking the first offer that comes along, you’ll likely reduce the chances of having to look for something better again a year or so later. This will save you the time it will take to do a second job search after you realize you’ve wasted time in the wrong job.

How to gain focus

There are a lot of ways to determine what your focus should be in your next job search. One way is by making the kind of three-prong list of must-haves for your next job, compromises, and icing-on-the-cake items as described in my post “How to Know If You’re In the Wrong Job.

But often it requires an even deeper dive into such things as your personal and career values, transferable skills, talents, gifts, weaknesses, goals, vision, personal mission, the current job market, and more.

Then, you want to take all of this and see where and how all these things fit together. This part often requires a second pair of eyes to help you see which opportunities you might be missing.

Many clients come to me needing help with this. They find it difficult to figure out their unique differentiators and where those fit in a new career path all on their own.

If this is something you know you need help with, you can start either with paNASH’s on-demand online video courses, or with one-on-one personalized coaching. These resources are designed to help you focus on finding the right fit and to help you stay focused for a successful job search.

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