In networking with job seekers, I often run across seekers with a lack of focus. This lack of focus prevents them from appropriately asking for help from their networks.

It’s important to build a strong foundation from which to conduct your search. Like any foundation, any shortcuts taken with the basic elements lead to problems down the road. In terms of a job search, this means missed opportunities, delays in finding opportunities, and possibly not converting opportunities into job offers.

To understand yourself, start with the basic  questions of Who, What, Where, When and Why. Save the How for later.

Who do you want to work for (Target Organizations)?

What do you want to do for them (Job Title)?

Where do you want to do it (How far are you willing to commute, would you consider relocation?)?

When do you want to do it (would you consider shift work, weekend work?)?

Why do you want to do it (I need the cash, I enjoy the professional environment, I need to contribute …)?

Answers to these questions will help you limit your search and help you be specific in asking your network for help.