The job search process can come up at any time, whether it’s a sudden end of employment, an evolving career goal, or a desire to try a new challenge. Sorting through job listings, uploading your resume, and browsing LinkedIn can feel like a full-time job of its own. That’s why it’s important to prepare for the process ahead—here are a few things to consider before you dive into your search.
Your career plans
Thinking about your desired career trajectory can go a long way toward figuring out your next move. Do you want to move up in your field, make a lateral move for a change of scenery, or step back and try something less stressful? Think about what kind of job can get you to where you want to be.
Your budget and desired income
Narrowing down your job search will start with figuring out how much money you need to make to fit your budget. You’ll need to factor in things such as rent, transportation payments, family costs, and medical needs when considering what jobs are in your range. Your goal may be to aim for a higher salary range than your previous jobs to make moving into a new role more appealing. If you’re considering moving to a different industry, you’ll want to research salaries so you know what to expect.
Tapping into your network
Your network of friends, colleagues, former coworkers and mentors can be a huge asset when on the hunt for a new gig. Exploring your network can help provide insight into the job market, connections to employment opportunities, and even leads for jobs. Reaching out to your connections before you begin the job search can help you feel prepared.
Updating your resume
Many job seekers like to take the first step of updating their resumes before they start looking at new career opportunities. Updating your work experience, skills, and other qualities will have you ready to quickly send out fresh, accurate, and up-to-date information about yourself when the time comes. It will also help serve as a pre-interview refresher, reminding you what skills and accomplishments you bring to a potential new employer.
What benefits you may want
Jobs offer benefit packages to attract new hires, so you should think about what kinds of benefits are important to you and your family. Things to consider include retirement accounts, 401(k) matching, as well as available health insurance or life insurance plans. These factors can be key points in deciding what kind of job to go after, as well as what to consider after receiving an offer.
Your work schedule
The world has changed in the past few years and so has the way people work. Many jobs now offer remote-work options or hybrid options for remote work and in-person days. Others may require you to come into a physical workspace every day. Narrow down your options by considering which kind of schedule fits your needs and your current working style. If you’re ready to work from home for good, you’ll want to seek out options that can accommodate.