A recent survey by Microsoft found that 70% of students are most worried about landing their dream job or having financial stability after graduating. And of those millennials in work, two-thirds want to leave their organizations by 2020 according to a 2016 Deloitte survey.
It makes sense to put some effort into working out what you’re looking for in a career before you start applying for jobs.
Start thinking about what you want. This is more complicated than simply ‘following your passion’ (and not many people are clear about what that looks like). It’s a combination of several things: our values, work we enjoy, work that challenges us and how work fits into the lifestyle we want.
So start brainstorming
- What are your values? What values are important to you in a job or in an employer?
- What do you definitely want in a job?
- What do you definitely NOT want in a job?
- Note all of these down – a list, a mindmap, a spreadsheet, a graphic – whatever works for you
- If you’re not sure what type of role or industry you’re interested in, search this wide list of possible career choices. Work through them, discard the ones you’re not interested in and find out more about the ones you might be interested in.
- If you do know the career or industry you want to work in, then identify the companies in that sector that you are interested in (e.g. a global organisation? SME?)
- Set up a simple matrix to map possible careers/ companies (top line) against the list of attributes/ values that are important to you in a job (down the left hand side)
- Use a scoring system to help prioritise the careers that you want to investigate in more detail and apply for
Don’t ignore your gut instinct! The matrix is a useful tool to help focus your planning and next steps. If something feels right/ wrong for you, listen to that and feed it into your planning.