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It is human nature, and extremely easy, to get caught up in the thrill, or dread, of a job search. Maybe you are employed but looking for more, maybe you were laid off and are starting to feel almost desperate for another job, maybe you are just finishing school and are only just starting to enter the workforce. In those times, and many other scenarios you may find yourself in throughout your career, taking little steps is the only way to effectively land the right job for you.

To break that down a bit more, because just hearing that you need to “start small”, “walk before you can run”, or “just take it one step at a time”, may seem inspiring on the walls of an HR department or career counselor, but how do you apply that to your life, or better yet, your job search? We are diving into one of our top TalentFund Tips to give you hiring professional perspective on how to take the first, tiniest and arguably most important step in a job search:

Put pen to paper and get specific.

This seems so simple and basic, how is writing going to help in your job hunt? Maybe you’re thinking you should review the roles and then decide if that seems right for you. In looking for a long-term career move, you would be wrong. By taking the time to sit down and thoughtfully write down every detail about a job, company or role you want (or don’t want), before you search, apply or interview, you are laying the foundation for your plan, both on paper and in your mind. Before you get caught up in the hunt, or the thrill of negotiations, or the dreaded state of desperation to just get a job, you will have your list of must haves, or have-nots, to guide you.

When we say every detail, we mean every singe one. This is just for you, nobody has to see it from here, so think through the little things and the big things. Where do you want to work? Home or an office? What do you want to wear each day? What is an acceptable commute? How do you want to spend your time while at work? Who do you want to work with? What tasks do you not want to do? What kind of software do you want to use? How much vacation time do you need each year? What benefit options are requirements, now and long term? Use this exercise to brainstorm, nothing is off the table while you work through your details, your desired role.

It is easy to be persuaded along the way, from interviews, recruiting discussions, contract negotiations, these details can easily be the first thing to fall to the side, or the first thing to be replaced with more money or seemingly glamorous benefit offerings. Keep this list, revisit it often in your hunt, ask yourself if the opportunities you are pursuing fit your most basic requirements, and then consider each option laid out in front you. From here, you are most likely to make a thoughtful, rational and opportunistic decision.

Step two in your job hunt? Find your network, or those with a network. The TalentFund team is always looking for top talent to share with our clients and partners. We would love to help you in your search, just reach out!

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