“Know Thyself” is one of Plato’s maxims for living a just life – an examined life – in career searches it should be a maxim for searching for the proper fit in a career and life.
Q.1 What is my primary motivation for wanting to leave?
You are most likely motivated by emotional reasons; poor corporate culture, morally broke co-workers, bad managers, too much overtime or simply becoming bored with the work.
Understand your personal reasons and it will help steer you in the right direction. It will help find the type of companies you want to work for and it helps with the types of questions you will ask potential employers. Examine your reasons leaving no stone upturned, the better you understand yourself the better you will present yourself.
Q.2 Who should I speak with about my search?
This question is more important than you think. Ask peers, friends, mentors, – get a mentor if you don’t have one – and ask your family. Seek experts in your respective field, retired managers, recruiters and don’t forget books – books are often a forgotten resource in the post-google age. Using experts will help you narrow down what you are looking for, but still be prepared to make up your own mind. You are the only one that knows what is good for you.
Q.3 How quickly am I wanting to make a move?
This might be an easy one, but often could be a misstep. You want to make a move quickly, but slow and steady could win the race. Don’t make decisions based on emotions alone. Carefully weigh out all factors, don’t limit your choices and don’t have too wide of a range of choices of positions. You should consider other factors that lead to starting a new job. Are you willing to change your patterns at home immediately? Are you willing to relocate? Are you able to learn new duties and procedures at a new position at the moment? Are you motivated to learn a new role and culture? Don’t chase shinny things, just because they are shinny, weigh out the reasons.
Q4. What resources should I use?
Should I put my resume up on CareerBuilder or Monster? Should I merely apply for jobs that are close to my career and location?
Should I use a recruiter? The answers are based on the type of search you are on. If you need to leave immediately you should use all of the above. If you are not in a hurry and have a target search in mind, consider finding a recruiter in your field and give them your resume.
Not all recruiters are the same, some simply use CareerBuilder or monster to find candidates, more sophisticated recruiters use LinkedIn and most likely have reached out passively in the past or have a social media presence. When using a recruiter ask them questions and judge their responses? You don’t have to work with recruiters you can’t trust, but be patient. Recruiters don’t always have the ideal fit for you and never be afraid to say no to a position.
Searching for a new job or beginning a search begins and ends with knowing yourself. The key is self-examination. Good luck with your search.

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