Job Search Strategy: A Solid Personal Assessment (1)

This is a seven-post series describing what a job search strategy looks like.

  1. Overview: Creating a Job Search Strategy
  2. Job Search Strategy: Personal Assessment (1)
  3. Job Search Strategy: Research (2)
  4. Job Search Strategy: Presenting Yourself (3)
  5. Job Search Strategy: Project Management (4)
  6. Job Search Strategy: Interview Strategies (5)
  7. Job Search Strategy: Project Update (6)

Let’s dig into the first step of Hannah Morgan’s six step job search strategy: A Personal Assessment.  In the image below you can see this step has various components. DO NOT SKIP YOUR PERSONAL ASSESSMENT! I skipped the personal assessment in my job search the foundation of my job search strategy had bad assumptions.  The beginning of your job search is a great time… it’s the right time, to pause and do your personal assessment.

Really think through this “who are you, what do you want to be when you grow up” phase.  DON’T SKIP THIS SEEMINGLY SIMPLE STEP THAT BECOMES THE FOUNDATION FOR YOUR JOB SEARCH STRATEGY.

Skills, Knowledge, Passions: Or, whatever acronym you want (in the federal government, this might be KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities)). You might have done a personal assessment five months ago, or five years ago, but now things are different.  You now have a great opportunity to assess your SKPs without any presumption of a job you are in, or a career path that you were on. It’s a blank slate, and it’s time to be honest about what you are really good at and what you really want to do.

STAR Development: This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, and is similar to PAR, CAR, OAR, etc.  What you come up with is what I call a “mini story” and can be used in interviews, on your LinkedIn Profile, etc.  Creating these is a super… SUPER personal branding exercise.

Job, Occupation, Industry: What kind job do you want to work in, doing what, and in what industry?  Are you suited or trained for that, or do you need training? How does this fall into the “personal assessment” step? In the next step you’ll do industry and other types of analysis but in this step I want you to think about what’s right and best for you. Think about YOUR part of the job/occupation/industry fit.

Company Culture, Management Style: What kind of culture do you want to work in? What kind of boss(es) (and team) do you want to have?  What would really delight you? Again, you should see this is part of the personal assessment step because you are figuring out what culture and management style work for you.

You might look at all of those and think “I already know this… let’s get my resume ready!”  But this is the Ready and Aim part of ready-aim-fire! Write this down, sleep on it, revisit it the next day.  Be honest with yourself, and make sure that you are pointing in the right direction before you start working hard on your job search. Give this first step, doing a personal assessment, the proper amount of time so you can build from this foundation.

The Personal Assessment Gives You a Foundation

The result of this step is having a better grasp on who you are, what you want to offer, what would make you happier and put in you in a more successful environment. When you have that every other step can be more guided and focused. Without a personal assessment you might find your research is too vague and the results are meaningless or confusing. Your personal branding, in step 3, is either misleading or too general, and not helpful in your networking. Seriously, this is an important step!

The personal assessment is critical to any job search strategy