You might have started a job search in the wrong place. You decided to take action on making a career transition and took a look at available jobs. You found yourself spending hours reading job ads on LinkedIn or Indeed. Often the ads are uninspired, which left you feeling less enthused about making a move. It looks like there is nothing out there, or what is out there sucks.

Why you don’t want to start with the jobs that are available.

If you start your job search by looking at available jobs, you limit yourself to what is available right now. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right job or even a smart move. And, if you choose to apply for work that is not ideal, you’ll

  • probably not land it (and possibly start to feel you can’t land anything)
  • land it and want to leave right away
  • stay out of guilt

The truth is that if you keep trying to find your dream job by looking at ads, instead of looking inside, it’s harder. ⁣ The more I help people to be deliciously happy in their careers, the more I believe in the power of intention to make it their own. ⁣

Most dream jobs don’t show up as job postings. ⁣

Many dream jobs don’t exist yet. I was working with a client, Lisa, and she said she wanted to land a job in HR. But, also wanted to work in the sustainability sector. She had a job at a firm that offered administrative support to companies. She worked for five different companies, but her favorite company was trying to transition to become a B Corp. She helped them with the process and loved it. Instead of starting her search by looking at what jobs were currently available, she started making her career story cards. 

I reviewed her cards and listened to her stories and we saw that her super skills were helping people, implementing new processes, and managing projects. She created a new career story for herself that sounded like: “I’m an HR professional who loves helping people do better work through implementing new processes and managing projects. Nothing falls when I’m in charge.” This gave her a clear idea of what she wanted to do next, instead of basing her career story on an available job.  At first, she just told this story to herself. And, as she was thinking about what job she could do next, her favorite client casually mentioned wanting to hire a full-time HR person. She listened and asked questions and then said,

“I’ve been thinking about a change towards a full-time HR job. Your role sounds ideal for my skills. As you’ve seen in the B Corp project, I love implementing new processes, helping people, and managing a project end-to-end. I’d love to build out your HR department.”

She got the job. And, this would not have happened if she had based her career brand on a job advertisement.


Looking at job ads can be important, it’s not the first thing to do though

Job ads absolutely play a role in a job search. They can be great for helping you know what words to incorporate in your career brand. They help you to know the qualifications and what tasks are usually included. But they come later in the job search — after you know what you’re good at and what you value.


Before you even look at another job ad, sit and ask yourself:

  • What are my favorite things to do?⁣
  • When do I do my best work? ⁣
  • What work makes my heart sing?

If you’d like to be guided through this, do the 7-day Career Stories Challenge.

Ground in this work first.⁣ Start with your stories & reflections. Then go external and look at what is out there. You’ll be able to judge if something is worth going for based on knowing yourself and your goals, instead of because it’s available right now.  ⁣

I encourage you to get a journal, the cheaper the better, and keep all these thoughts together. ⁣

They will come together and make perfect sense, way more sense than using someone else’s list to grow your career. ⁣

Use what you got, we need it.⁣