Why are you searching for a new job?

When you begin your job search, do you really consider the answer to this question?

When a recruiter or a hiring manager asks you this question, do you know the answer? When I ask candidates this question, many candidates seem to be taken off guard by it. Why am I really looking for a new job?

Now, you may be in the job market because your position is being restructured or eliminated; however, now that you have time to reflect about your career, do you take the time to think about your career goals or accomplishments?  Are you happy with the career path that you have chosen and what you have been able to accomplish and learn?  If you do not know the answers to these questions then who do you expect to help you with your career goals/path?

During career counseling sessions, I like to have individuals ask themselves the following questions:

What do you least like about your current role and your career?

What do you like the most about your current role and your career?

Thinking back to your past jobs, are there any common elements that you enjoyed?

What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments and why?

Now, have the answers to these questions made you change what you are considering in a new job or making that move? Is there a pattern?

After career counseling sessions, I find that individuals do not take the time to reflect on their careers goals or accomplishments because they are too busy with the day to day routine. Consequently, when it is time for them to search for a new job it is a daunting experience. If you are not prepared then it may lead you to accept any job that you find and then you are left unhappy because you fell into the same pattern, resulting in searching for a new job all over again.  

Why not take the time once a year or more to reflect and look at your professional career? Make a list of your accomplishments and your goals. Place a reminder in your calendar to address these goals once a month or quarterly – whatever is a realistic timeframe for you. It is easier to concentrate on your career goals when you are not worried about finding another job.

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