Find Your Next Job With These 3 Easy Steps

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for checking out this blog as you navigate your careers during this crazy time in the world. This all started in university with the goal of sharing my learnings from career conversations with C-Suite executives, mentors, and advisors to help my friends and family members. Today, #kkarenism has impacted tens of thousands of people in over 78 countries and I’ve enjoyed hearing your inspiring success stories over the years.

To kick off 2024, I am sharing some tangible steps for those of you who are itching to make a change but don’t know the best way to get started. These tips are based on my personal experiences and the advice of my role models, mentors, and sponsors.

Step 1: Reflect on your journey so far

Before jumping blindly into the job search and applying for every role you see on LinkedIn, take a step back to reflect on the journey that has led you to this point of your career. The biggest questions that I asked myself when I was trying to make a career transition were:

  1. What gives me energy?
    • e.g. I love storytelling, taking ownership, and building connections
  2. What are my total compensation goals?
    • e.g. I wanted to make 6 figures before I turned 25
  3. What superpowers do I bring to the table that are unique and outstanding?
    • e.g. I know how to build and leverage a network to connect the dots and optimize for execution
  4. What experiences and results have I achieved that I am most proud of?
    • e.g. I led a team of 14 Microsoft managers & sellers to win a Canada-wide contest (even surpassing other teams led by senior executives)
  5. Where do I want to grow? (e.g. industry, discipline)
    • e.g. I wanted to gain and develop marketing, communications, and customer-facing skills

If you’re really keen, you can find even more self reflection questions here to dive deep into your personal and professional aspirations. This exercise may seem “fluffy” but having a clear understanding of your WHY is essential to fuelling your motivation throughout the job hunting process.

Step 2: Create a career walking deck

Once you have an idea of where you want to go, piece it all together into a visual story that you can easily tell others. In the job market, YOU are the product and you need to learn how to sell yourself. My favourite way to do this is with a career walking deck because:

  • It is the evolution of the boring resume and cover letter which helps you stand out and impress hiring managers and recruiters
  • Taking the time to think through and build a career walking deck helps you understand yourself better which helps you prepare for interviews and coffee chats

Leveraging a career walking deck in interviews is a game-changer that has helped me and many others land jobs! Ranked #1 on Google and Bing, you can find my templates and resources to get started here.

Step 3: Network to get work

Wouldn’t it be nice to network with the hiring manager, recruiter, and team members whenever you came across a job posting that interested you?

When I was applying for jobs, I’d figure out who the hiring managers were and reach out to the team members and/or relevant stakeholders before my interview. I’d ask questions to learn more about the role and team and leverage these insights to tailor my career walking deck and interview answers. For example, if I learned that a gap on the team was “analytics and insights” then I would try to emphasize my analytical skills and experiences in the interview.

If you don’t have an easy way to figure out who the hiring manager or recruiter is, then you should follow the Career Community by kkarenism! I re-share hiring posts directly from hiring managers, recruiters, and team members on this page to make it easy for you to identify who to reach out to and ask for a coffee chat. Even if you can’t find time to meet 1on1, you can still ask a few questions via email or chat to collect insights.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  1. Why are you hiring for this role on the team?
    • This helps you figure out if the team is growing with a new headcount or filling a vacancy
    • If filling a vacancy, you can try reaching out to the person who used to be in the role to learn more about the day-to-day and get more candid insights
  2. What are some of the gaps on the team?
    • This helps you understand where you could add value to the team and emphasize relevant skills and experiences in the interview
  3. Who are the key stakeholders?
    • This helps you identify potential teams and contacts who may be a part of the interviewing process and reach out to them for interesting insights
  4. What is the team culture like?
    • This helps you understand if you will fit into the team and enjoy the work environment (e.g. work-life flexibility, leadership style, hybrid work, etc.)
  5. How is success evaluated on the team?
    • This helps you determine if your work style matches the performance expectations
    • e.g. if you’re not that competitive and don’t like working under too much pressure, then you may not want to go for a role where success is based on quarterly metrics and KPIs

P.S. You can find my networking secrets from having 300+ coffee chats here!

Thanks for checking out kkarenism! I’m here to support you through every step of the job hunting and career development journey, so please connect with me on LinkedIn, work with me 1on1, and join 800+ people around the world who subscribe to my free monthly newsletter! Best of luck, I am cheering you on 🍀