Looking for a new career is a stressful process. There are a lot of factors to consider when answering the question, “What do you want in your next career?” This is particularly difficult if you are switching jobs after a successful career and want to stand out in the saturated job market.
Before you dive into your next job search, carve out space to get clear on what you want — and do not want — in your next career. This decreases your chances of landing a job you dislike, or even worst, landing a job you hate.
Here are seven questions that will help you find a job you love:
1. What industry are you targeting?
You want your job search to be as targeted as possible. Many of my job seeker clients find it helpful to begin by narrowing their job search to a single industry. They also find it helpful to decide if their next company needs to be a purpose-driven one. (The answer is often a resounding “Yes!”)
2. What size organizations do you thrive in?
Next, decide the ideal size of your next employer. While you are at it, contemplate whether you want to work for a publicly or privately held company. Also consider if you favor a startup, a legacy company or something in between. The more specific you can get with your target company the better.
3. Where do you want your next job to be located?
After you determine your ideal industry and organization size, think about where you want your next career to be located and if you are willing to relocate. Furthermore, consider if you prefer to work in-person, telecommute or are seeking a hybrid-remote situation.
4. How do you envision the team dynamic?
With your ideal company avatar in mind, think about how you want to interact with your future coworkers. Envision the relationship you seek with your colleagues. Also, think about your ideal boss and the leadership style you prefer. Really imagine how you want to feel within your next organization.
5. What does your ideal day look like?
While no two days are alike, you want to think about how you want to spend your time at work. Try writing out your ideal work schedule from start to finish. Ask yourself which projects bring you energy. Additionally, ask yourself which projects zap your energy.
6. What level position do you want in the company?
Now, contemplate what level of responsibility you are seeking. Ponder whether you want to be an individual contributor or people manager. Decide how large of a team you wish to lead. It’s also a good idea to evaluate what organizational structure you want to work within.
7. What are your salary requirements?
Finally, calculate your target salary, keeping in mind the concept of total compensation, not simply the base salary. With this in mind, also assess whether and how important health coverage is to you. Further, evaluate the importance of your employer offering a 401(K) matching program.
These powerful coaching questions are just a start as you navigate the job search. Be sure to set aside ample time, energy and mental space to get clear on what you want in your next career. You’ve got this!