Don’t Get Lost on Your Job Search!

by Sarah Deringer, Head Editor, INALJ Mississippi

Don’t Get Lost on Your Job Search!

sarahderingerGetting lost in the job search can be very easy without a plan. Before beginning a job search (or after getting lost), take a moment to breathe and reflect. It’s easy to rush around trying to apply to every job out there. But to avoid getting stuck with just a job, take a moment and reflect on the job, the DREAM job. Here’s a guide to figuring out a job search plan.



  • What do you like about your current job or previous jobs? By focusing on your likes, you can find jobs that have similar features. For example, if you know you love working with technology, apply for a Technical Services Library position or Information Technology Coordinator position. You’ll be doing what you love!

  • What do you NOT like about your current job or previous jobs?  This may seem like common sense, but when you’re desperate to find a job, this wisdom is often thrown out the window. Look at what you don’t like at your job, and try to find a job that doesn’t involve what you really don’t like. For example, if you know you don’t like working with children, don’t apply to a Youth Services position! Yikes! That would only make you and the children miserable. Plus, you probably would end up not working well at it.

  • What do you naturally do well? If you’re good at writing but not at math, take a job in your talent area. Play to your strengths, which is exactly what employers look for.

  • What would you do if you could be successful at it? Dare to dream big, and with enough hard work, you can accomplish those dreams! This is where your passion is, and employers want passionate people to help their businesses grow.

  • What do you lose track of time while doing? What is it that makes you lose track of time because it’s so fun? This is something you may consider searching for in a job, so your work will be meaningful to you.

  • What job reflects your personal mission statement and values? A personal mission statement is a declaration of what you want to do with your life. It incorporates your talent, hopes, and dreams to create a written philosophy for your life. It doesn’t have to be long or terribly fancy; it’s just a reminder of who you want to be.  (My personal mission statement is: I am a Christian girl who wants to love even if love isn’t returned, give with all her heart, and treat everybody special. I want to use my God-given gifts to help others read, research, and make changes in their lives.) A personal mission statement can guide you to the type of job you will love because it compliments your values.

After reflecting on the dream job, write down a plan! This stands as a reminder of what to look for throughout the job search; it’s a treasure map to finding the dream job. By developing a plan, you won’t lose your way during your job search!

If  you need more help with coming up with a job hunting strategy, check out Classy Career Girl. This website provides all sorts of resources devoted to helping people find their dream jobs.