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Questions to Ask About Your Career Before You Start a Job Search


If you’re sitting at your desk counting down the minutes until the weekend, wishing you were somewhere else, then help is here! Before you start a new job search, take stock of your career by asking yourself the following questions...

  1. What makes me happy in my current role/team/company? Reflecting on what makes you happy in your current position will go a long way in making sure your next move will be a positive one. Simple things that motivate you are often forgotten, perks like flexible work environments, relationships with colleagues or certain responsibilities can make all the difference. Remember it’s often the case that “don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” so do think about all the little perks that get you through the day in your current role!

  2. Is there anything about my current role I would change? Similarly, what would you change if you could? These could be big or small - do you want a totally new area of focus, more training, or more work-life balance? Rate the things that are most important to you, and make these priorities in your new role.

  3. What is the next step up from my current role?​ Be it leadership opportunities or a different client base. Make a list of job- related goals you want to achieve over the coming year. Be specific. For instance, if you want to get a pay rise within the next year or you want to gain a new skill set to further your career over the next year, write it down.

  4. Can I achieve it in my current company? Before you decide to leave your current company, find out if you can achieve the next level without switching companies. If there is an opportunity for internal promotion and you’re happy in your current company don’t be afraid to ask for what you want! Likewise see if you can incorporate the things you listed earlier that motivate you, or that you’d like to change.

  5. What companies would I say yes to if they offered me a new job tomorrow? If you decide switching companies is the way to go, consider what companies you would be happiest working for. For instance, if you work in digital marketing or public relations look at firms that have the best reputations for delivering on the characteristics you listed in question 1. Make a list of the companies you would love to work for. Learn as much as you can about the company, their hiring process, their mission, and their opportunities for advancement.

  6. What companies would I say no to? After you have determined the companies that hire people with your job skills, list the ones you would say no to and why. For instance, the workplace culture may not be a fit for your lifestyle even if everything else is in line with what you want in a job. What are you willing to sacrifice to work for a company, if you are willing to make sacrifices?

  7. Who can I ask for support in the next stage of my career? Make a list of people you know you can turn to for help in your career and/or job search. Look to former managers you liked or who served as a mentor, colleagues you trust to be honest with you, or friends and family. Good recruiters can be a great source of information and guidance too, so ask around to see who are the best recruiters in your industry, and get in touch!

Starting your job search this way will make it a lot easier to evaluate new job opportunities and work out what you really want from your next role.