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How to Start Your Job Search: The 20-Minute Exercise for Job Search Success

In the dynamic landscape of today's job market, embarking on a job search can be a mix of excitement and uncertainty. Whether you're seeking to make a career change, start a new journey, or re-enter the workforce, having a clear plan in place can significantly boost your chances of success.

At TalentFund, your trusted professional recruiting agency in Kansas City, we understand that the first steps in your job search can be crucial. And trust us, we field a lot of “how do I start my job search” questions on a weekly basis. That's why we've devised a 20-minute exercise that can set you up for job search success by helping you define your goals and aspirations. In this blog post, we'll guide you through this exercise, focusing on two critical aspects: defining your "why" and envisioning your ideal day. Don’t miss our downloadable worksheet to guide your job search journey - linked at the bottom of this post.

1. Define Your "Why"

Before diving into job listings and updating your resume, it's essential to start by understanding your motivations and aspirations. Defining your "why" can provide you with the clarity and direction needed to make the most of your job search. There is the obvious financial motivation, but think beyond the money - on a challenging work day (we all have them!), what will you still find satisfaction and fulfillment in? What does this next position or career move mean for your longer-term plans and career development?

Here's how you can break it down:

a. Personal Fulfillment

Begin by reflecting on your current situation and identifying what's driving you to seek a change. Are you looking for greater job satisfaction? Do you want to align your career with your passions? Consider the aspects of your current or past roles that you've enjoyed and those that have left you wanting more. This will help you pinpoint the elements you want to prioritize in your next role.

b. Professional Growth

Think about where you want to be in the next few years. What skills do you want to develop? What level of responsibility are you aiming for? Define your short-term and long-term career goals, considering how each step will contribute to your overall growth and success.

c. Financial Aspects

While job satisfaction and growth are essential, the financial aspect cannot be overlooked. Determine the financial goals you need to achieve through your new job. This could include factors such as salary, benefits, and potential for bonuses or commissions. Ensure that the compensation aligns with your lifestyle and financial obligations.

By clarifying your motivations for seeking a new job, you'll be better equipped to evaluate opportunities that come your way. This exercise will serve as your guiding compass, helping you make decisions that align with your goals and values.

2. Write Out Your Ideal Day

Now that you have a clear understanding of your "why," it's time to take a step further and envision your ideal day in your future role. This exercise may seem simple, but it can be incredibly powerful in shaping your job search strategy. Think of this as your road map.

Here's how to do it:

Imagine waking up on a typical workday in the future. Where are you? What time do you wake up? Get detailed as you envision this!

As you go through your day, consider the following aspects:

Work Environment

Describe the physical space where you're working. Are you in a traditional office, a co-working space, or are you working remotely? Visualize the surroundings, the decor, and the overall atmosphere.

Daily Tasks

Outline the tasks and activities that fill your day. What are you responsible for? Are you leading a team, working independently, or collaborating with colleagues? Be specific about the type of work you're engaged in.


Think about the people you interact with throughout the day. Are you working closely with clients, colleagues, or customers? Are these meetings in-person, virtual, are you travling? Describe the nature of these interactions and how they contribute to your overall job satisfaction.


Consider the level of flexibility your role offers. Are you able to set your schedule, or are there specific hours you need to be available? Envision how this flexibility enhances your work-life balance.


Picture yourself at the end of the day, reflecting on your accomplishments. What goals have you achieved? How do these achievements contribute to your sense of fulfillment and professional growth?

By creating this detailed picture of your ideal day, you're setting a clear intention for the type of role you want to pursue. This exercise not only helps you identify opportunities that align with your vision but also prepares you to confidently discuss your preferences during interviews.


As you embark on your job search journey, remember that preparation is key. Taking just 20 minutes to define your "why" and envision your ideal day can make a world of difference. At TalentFund, we're here to support you every step of the way, connecting you with opportunities that align with your goals and aspirations. With a clear sense of purpose and a vivid picture of your desired future, you're on the path to job search success. Get ready to take the job market by storm!


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