My husband and I are selling our home so we can downsize. There are so many considerations: how do we pay for a new home being built, when ours is still unsold? How do we reduce our furniture and possessions to fit into a new, smaller space? Does it make sense to store some things? Where will we live if there is a gap between the old house sold and the new house built?

My husband reminded me of the engineering design process. The first step: Define the problem. Then, work ONE problem at a time.

Engineers have had a hand in creating everything around us – from ventilators, to suspension bridges, to the clock radio on our night stands. They have also designed and redesigned our smart phones – tiny computers that have more power than the computers that sent man to the moon!

Perhaps it makes sense to apply the discipline of engineering to a Job Search:

Ask: What is the problem? Is my career stalled because of – a stifling environment? A company that doesn’t recognize and reward creativity? A lack of upward mobility? My own boredom with the work? A lack of training?

Imagine: What job would make me happy? Possibly more important: what about the job delights you, creates passion, embodies an environment where you feel you get to go to work?

  1. Generate a list of likes and dislikes about current job. What do you avoid and embrace?
  2. Generate a list of Job Titles that you think would be interesting.
  3. Look at job descriptions and imagine yourself in each of those positions.
  4. Just remember this is the time to explore your passion, your direction, and your purpose. If there were no limits what would you do?

Plan: Create a new resume that emphasizes the skills required in your desired position. While you are searching, use some of your time to study new software or concepts that will enable the career shift you want to make.

Create: Generate job leads by talking to people who have those positions. Find out about the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the positions! Learn about companies that are progressive and growing. Create new business associations, renew friendships of the past, re-connect with former colleagues.

Improve: The last two steps have allowed you to “prototype” your new career. Once you get feedback from recruiters and hiring managers, you will know if you’re on the right track or need to adjust your sights. At this is the point my husband says, “We need to adjust and get a quick read out over the next set of variables.” (You know, I think he says this to drive me nuts!) Sometimes, it’s just a matter of hanging in there and waiting for the perfect opportunity to come up.

Later in your Job Search you might focus on a different ONE problem, such as: “How to I get an introduction to my future boss?” The process of focusing will keep you feeling centered and effective.

Engineers don’t work in a vacuum. Neither can you. It takes colleagues, sympathetic friends (not frenemies), mentors, people invested in your future (certain family members) to make a job search work.

You need someone, or many people to collaborate with you. If you can, create a small accountability group of other job seekers. Join a Job Club such as Launchpad, Job Seekers Network or Hired Texas. Or, seek out a Career Coach to help you brainstorm ideas and develop new approaches.

On your side,

Catherine Jewell
The Career Passion® Coach

PS: We’re focusing on the first problem: getting the house sold. It’s an updated family 2-story of 2,800 sq.ft., plus a guest cottage to rent or use for extended family. The nearly 2-acre lot has more than 100 trees!

PPS: I’m ready to help you with ANY stage of the job search process. Connect with me to create a coaching plan that’s sized to your needs.


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