If you have just lost your job or know that a layoff is near, your immediate reaction may be to make your career transition as fast as possible. Quick, find a job — any job — especially in a tough employment market. Panicking into grabbing the first paycheck available isn’t always a good idea, however. And don’t forget you have help. Modern outplacement solutions can be especially helpful to those who need to be more selective in their job searches.
So, take the time to take a step back and think. Conduct a self-evaluation, keeping in mind that you cannot separate your job search from your overall career management. They are all part of the same process. That is why many job experts recommend selective job searches, even in a challenging market. Jumping at the first position you are offered may leave you regretting a job with lower pay or one that is not directly related to your employment background and expertise.
Here are a few of the many factors that determine how selective you should make your search:
Your career goals
Your ideal job or position
Your level of experience in your field, sector, or industry
Your educational attainment and background
Your financial and family circumstances
Starting with your career goals, consider these questions. Has unemployment altered them or simply delayed you from reaching your destination? How realistic is it to expect to find a similar position in another company or even industry? You may need to do some research to obtain a clear understanding of your prospects for more of the same type of work.
If you have established an unusual job you love but is now eliminated, you might offer to do the same for another employer, provided you offer the specifics of how that company will benefit from your job description.
Use all available resources
Your level of experience may also determine whether you try to spear a new job or cast a wider net. Those with shorter resumes may benefit from a broader search for more varied job experiences. But most of us with extensive backgrounds want a specific job that capitalizes on all of that history, so a selective job search makes sense.
Your educational attainment may help narrow your search, too. Some highly specialized degrees, such as a doctorate in particle physics, carry weight only within certain fields and kinds of employers.
If your finances are limited, you may need to find the next available job and thus cannot afford to be as selective. But regardless of whether you are extremely selective or willing to look almost anywhere for employment, be sure to take advantage of the job search resources your former employer makes available.