There are many job search methods to choose from, and despite the plethora of job search systems for career success, there is no right way to land a job. The way that I’ll land a job is different than how my sister, a nurse, landed hers. It is different from how my graphic designer client landed theirs. The way that you best connect and impress people is unique to you.

 

My job search method

When I begin any career transition I look backward first. I spend a week collecting my career stories cards and meditating. Then I review that work and see what patterns show themselves to me. The cards make it clear to me what work I need to plan on stopping, and what work I need to focus on next. This works for me to identify patterns of work happiness over a period of years. I also do this every 4-6 months in my business.

It’s a fun way to figure out what to do next. I get to walk-through my memories and discover something new every time. We are always changing.

The downside of this approach is that it takes time. I need 1-2 weeks to find the thing. I rely on the ritual of story gathering often. If I’m feeling particularly lost, it’s going to be at least a week until I have some direction. And in the meantime, I might take on projects and work that I should be turning down.

The other downside is that this job search technique requires the skill to analyze stories for meaning, make new connections, and trust the process. It works for me, and I can coach and assess other people through the process because I’ve spent 20 years analyzing personal stories and guiding people on how to use them.  In that case, the cards won’t help you without the support of a coach.

Here’s the thing though, I’ve tried rushing it. I’ve tried starting with personality assessments and those left me uninspired. I forget the results quickly and the results have little meaning to me. For me, a quick quiz to figure out the complexities of a human goes against what I believe.

Now, this could be different for you. You might find the process of story gathering painful. You might like the quick answer that a CliftonStrengths gives you. You could use that as the launching pad for your stories.

There is no perfect method of job searching.

There is no such thing as the perfect way to figure out what you should do next and how to do a perfect job search. That means you might have to play around with a few methods first. If you’re new to job search, read over the different ways of coming to this work. As you read about the methods and the coaches, ask yourself:

 

How does this feel when I read it?

Has the method worked for people like me?

When have I been successful in following a program before? Does this method have elements of that in it?

When I look over the steps to take do I have the skills to do this on my own? Or should I get a coach to help me as I go through the method?

 

When I was figuring this out the most inspiring program I saw was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Her method is not designed to help you find your career, but it helped me create a daily writing practice, take care of myself as I figured myself out, and know what activities inspire me. The practices I did in her program, helped me to know that I needed a job search method that was creative, included stories, and where I made time for daily walks and creative work.

Identify Your Way

I’ve worked with clients where the story cards didn’t work at first. Often these clients came from technical backgrounds like engineering or data science (or both). They enjoyed the exercise but wanted to feel more confident in the data. In those cases, I bring in my YouMap training, and we start there. The results told the same story and then we moved on to how to plan a job search.

 

It’s easy when reading about programs and methods to feel like you don’t know anything and you’ve made a mess of your career. That’s not true. You know a lot of things and haven’t made a mess. You’ve figured things out before and you can figure them out again. The best gift you can give your career and job search is honesty about what programs work for you. And be truthful about what you need help with right now.

  • If following a program without any feedback is going to leave you feeling more frustrated, stay away from online classes.
  • If talking to a coach with a corporate or recruiter background is going to make you feel limited in your options, hire a creative coach.
  • If working with a creative coach makes you feel scared and it’s too close to the edge, work with a coach with an executive background.
  • If you’re looking for a conventional job, you don’t need a career exploration program. You need an updated resume and strategy.
  • If you don’t know what you want, don’t enroll in a program that focuses on networking strategies, you’re not there yet.
  • If doing online personality assessments (with or without a coach) hasn’t worked before, try something else. If it has worked before, use it again.

Do what works for you. As you choose, be honest with yourself.

There are lots of ways to come at this work, the important part is doing the one that works for you.