At some point, we all face this classic job hunting dilemma: we’ve been job hunting for months until we hit rock bottom, and things start to look hopeless. Then we start applying for jobs that do not pique our interest as they are easier to get because we are beyond qualified. Then we attend interviews and a few days later – we got the job. It is not what we want, but it will get the bills paid. The question is, should we settle or keep searching? 

Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we start to believe our career field is too competitive, and we need to look elsewhere. The truth is, nothing is wrong with looking outside the box, but it doesn’t mean that we should settle for less than we deserve. Some of us might think it would be crazy to turn down a full-time job that looks great on paper, but there is a lot to consider when searching for a job. Before you take that job, you might want to consider how it aligns with your goals or if it offers the opportunity for you to improve and grow, etc. The worst thing you would want is to get complacent at a job that doesn’t motivate you. 

I recently experienced a similar problem; A job opportunity was gifted to me that looked very promising. It would have been a great addition to my resume. I was given a few days to think about it and then sign the contract. However, I kept weighing the pros and cons of the job in my head. I was scared of saying “no” and didn’t want to miss out on any opportunity, especially since I’m at a stage in my life when I’m supposed to be building my career. I was scared of the unknown. I prayed about it, and I fasted. I eventually signed the contract and sent it in – then retracted it. I had to think about whether or not to look past the bad and settle. When you have to think long and hard about something, I believe that is when we already know the answer but are too afraid to face it. 

Since then, I have included several strategies in my job hunting process, which I would love to share in today’s job hunting entry.

Risk is our friend, don’t be afraid of it.

Risk is scary, but almost every success story includes risks. Many of these successful people had to take a leap of faith or a calculated risk to become the success story they are today. Some of the risks persons take can either be quitting a job they hate, starting a project or business that has a fifty per cent chance of failing, some persons even opt to drop out of university to pursue their dreams. Jeff Bezos – wouldn’t have become the business magnet that he is today, had he stayed at his day job on Wall Street, instead of taking a leap of faith and started an online book store in his garage – Amazon.

Many companies came to life because of risk, so I urge you not to be afraid of it.

Ensure the job aligns with your values

When a person’s job aligns with his/her values, then that person is more likely to become motivated and inspired to get things done. Before applying for a job or accepting a job offer, it is always best to try to find out as much as possible about the company through its website or other people you know that works for the company. You might want to know whether or not the company will fulfill your values or criteria. You might also want to consider the company’s mission, whether or not you will enjoy your day-to-day work, and the value you bring to the team or the company. Looking at these things will help you understand whether or not the company’s goals align with ours.

So, the next time you apply for a job or get a job offer, do not only think about the salary, but also your values and what you can learn and contribute to the company. 

Avoid getting complacent

Way too many people start jobs they had no interest in, only to be stuck at the same place ten years later. One of my deepest fears is waking up every morning sad because of my work environment. I want to see the brightest light in everything that I do; I want to love what I do so that I can look forward to starting a new day. 

For some of us, our first job might not be what we want, but that is okay ONCE YOU HAVE A PLAN. Use this job as a stepping stone, but don’t settle because it pays enough to clear the bills and provides food. 

The job-hunting process is hard, and when we can’t find the job we want, we often feel we need to settle. We start applying for jobs we are not interested in, and we scoop up the first opportunity that jumps our way after searching for a long while. I urge you to try these strategies when every you apply for a job or get a job offer.

Check out last week’s post: 4 Ways to Build your Confidence before a Job Interview. Remember to subscribe to our blog so that you are notified when we post on Thursdays. 

As part of our job hunting series, we do free resume and cover letter consultation for our subscribers!

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