Whether you are fresh out of school or transitioning from a long-term career, many adults face the challenge at some point in their lives of making a job change. This can certainly be a daunting task. However, by taking a few intentional steps of action, this undertaking can be an enjoyable and often enlightening venture to help propel you toward a most rewarding occupation!

Step #1     Read What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles, and Knock Em Dead by Martin Yate.

If you’re able to purchase the suggested books in this article, you would have access to them long-term. Half.com is a good online resource where used copies of books can be purchased inexpensively. Many times you can also find these books at your local library.

Step #2     Do a career assessment to determine career interests.

If you’ve recently been left stranded by your company’s reorganization, many groups offer assistance to terminated employees. Through these types of programs, career assessment tools are often provided. But if you’re going this journey alone, you can either purchase or find many free assessments online. This post from Monster lists ten possible tools that could help you: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-free-career-assessment-tools

Step #3     Do a personality assessment to determine your character type and understand how you relate to other people.

Similar to what was mentioned in Step #2, you can find several free assessments online. A helpful one, with comparable findings of the Myers-Briggs tests, can be found at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

Step #4     Purchase and study Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath to determine your top five strengths that will be used in the workplace.

Step #5     Develop a plan to reduce living expenses, and begin a new operating budget that is in line with your current income.

Step #6     Create a daily log to track all contacts.

Keeping a log of contacts is helpful in knowing whom you’ve been in touch with, how those communication efforts went (good and bad), and how to proceed with them or not after an appropriate period of waiting.

Step #7     Update your LinkedIn page.

Many employers go to LinkedIn after reviewing your resume and/or interviewing you. They also go to LinkedIn to find employees. This is one of the main online networking sites that can boost your skills and career advancement, so it’s best to keep your profile updated and professional in appearance.

Step #8     Develop a two-minute elevator speech that describes the type of work you are pursuing.

Having this short summary in mind will be helpful if someone asks you to describe the type of work you are hoping to find in your job search.

Step #9     Develop a work schedule that puts you on the offensive instead the defensive.

Treat every job search day as a full-time job. Get dressed, plan your day, avoid distractions, and maintain a healthy balance between work and rest.

Step #10     Begin your job search by telling your closest friends, and then branch out into larger and larger groups.

This approach helps bring about great networking possibilities with others you may have never met otherwise!

Step #11     Stay physically fit.  Go to the gym and workout regularly.

Looking for a job can be stressful! Do yourself a favor by taking time each day for some form of exercise to help ease your nerves and bring clarity to your thoughts.

Step #12     Select a job coach to mentor and encourage you along the way.

Step #13     Master the art of interviewing.

Some of this comes naturally with the process of interviewing. You can also do some interview prep. by watching videos online with successful interviewing tips.

Step #14     Never stop looking for a job until you have a written job offer.

Step #15     Find temporary work until you have the “main job” so you will have the satisfaction of working.

Remember—you still have to eat and pay your bills as you wait for your new “real” job. Taking a temporary job will not only keep money coming in (although less than ideal), it will also show future employers that you’re staying on top of making provisions for your needs during this transition period.

Step #16     Calculate how many months it will take on average to find your job.  (Plan on two months for every $10,000 you wish to make in your new job.)  

Step #17     Spend most of your job search time connecting with people you know since eighty-five percent of all jobs are found through prior connections.

Step #18     Only accept a job offer that will allow you to do something you enjoy doing.

Step #19     Keep your family (especially your spouse) informed of your progress so they will not need to continually ask for an update.

Step #20     Your ideal job will be one that fits your personality, maximizes your strengths, and creates a sense of satisfaction and contentment at the end of the day.