In a previous post, we explored the question of “What do you want to do?”, the next step in your career. A job search is the right time to examine that question. In this post, we’ll explore the question “Who do you want to do it for?” to further clarify the boundaries around your job search.

Since we’ve determined what it is we want to do, now it’s time to focus on specific industries and companies within those industries. It’s important to narrow the focus for a number of reasons:

  • Your requests for help (contacts, introductions, networking) can be focused and precise.
  • Your research will be more productive.
  • You can start identifying networking contacts within your target industries and companies.
  • Your job search tools (resumes, profiles …) will be customized toward your targets.
  • You will be able to identify any gaps you have in your experience that need to be filled through training, education or volunteer experiences.

It can be difficult to change industries, and if that is the direction you are going in, it will be important to highlight transferable skills, and build up your expertise in those skills.

Business Journals and Magazines often publish their version of “Top Places To Work”, and may give you some ideas of industries and companies to target.

Many former work associates have spread out and taken new jobs in different industries. It can be helpful to reach out to them to determine if they are satisfied with their new work homes.

Understanding who you want to work for will help you in answering the next question, “Where do you want to do it?”, which will be the subject of a future post.