Job search

Job search: Make a strategy and find the right job

With the right job search strategy, you are more likely to land a job you are happy with. Get help sorting your priorities and see if a potential job is really as good as it sounds.

Looking for a new job can be tough. Therefore, it is important that you use your energy to look for jobs that actually suit your skills and life situation.

A job search strategy is not a guarantee that you will get the job that matches all your wishes, but it can make the process of looking for a job more manageable, and you can sort out in advance the workplaces where you would not be comfortable.

Here are 4 steps you can follow as part of formulating a job search strategy.

Use your motivation to target the job search

When you have a clear idea of ​​which tasks motivate you, it is easier to target your job search. At the same time, you become a more convincing candidate for employers because you have a genuine interest in the jobs you are applying for.

One way to gain an overview of your motivation is to make two lists of your work tasks: On one, write the tasks that you are good at, and on the other, write down the tasks that you are less good at. Then you have to reflect on which tasks you find fun and which give you more energy, and which tasks drain you.

When you are looking for a new job, it is important that you not only look at your current skills, but also at which tasks motivate you. Otherwise, you risk ending up with the same problems even if you change your workplace.

It may also be that you are not comfortable with your manager's management style, the work culture in your department or your company's values. These are all elements that you can put on the list of things that are important to you in your next job.

Your job search strategy must take your life situation into account

Your work is one part of your life, but you also have to take family life, leisure interests, finances and many other factors into account. It is therefore important that a future job fits into your life situation. Throughout life, we go through several phases, and considering these can help you prioritise when you lay out a job search strategy.

  • Security: If you have just bought a house, the most important thing for you may be to have high job security and a good salary. It is perfectly fine to prioritise these things for a period of time, even if, for example, you have to compromise with the professional challenges.
  • Flexibility: If you have children or a hobby that is time-consuming and important to you, the most important thing for you may be a job where you can work from home or leave the office earlier and catch up on your tasks in the evening.
  • Professional development: If you are at the start of your career or in a place in your life where you have a financially stable framework and time to prioritise your work, you can compromise a little with the salary or flexibility in order to try yourself in a more demanding or completely new role.

Your life situation is one thing, but there are also personal preferences, and maybe you know within yourself that work will never be the most important thing in your life, or that, conversely, you would like to focus on your career instead of having a lot of personal projects. The most important thing is that you are honest with yourself and that you are looking for a job that suits you and your goals in life.

Research protects you against disappointment in the job search

Even if you come across a job posting that sounds absolutely right, it's important that you hold on to your critical sense. Too many are disappointed that reality does not quite match the job advertisement when they start. Typically, it is about:

  • Chaos in the department, reorganisations and a poor working environment
  • That operation constitutes the majority of the work at the expense of development tasks
  • That the chemistry with the manager you met at the job interview disappears

You always take a chance when you change jobs, because you can't be sure how the daily life at the company will be. But you can make research part of your job search strategy to avoid the worst pitfalls.

The first step is to form an impression of the workplace by finding information on the employer's website, on Jobindex and in the media. The employer will of course always paint a glossy picture of itself on the website, but it still gives you an idea of ​​how your working life will be if the employer's focus is either on readiness for change and growth or thoroughness and traditions. 

In the media, you might find out if there have been cutbacks, bad cases about the working environment, or if there are major plans to expand. On Jobindex you can also find evaluations of most major workplaces, which can give you an idea of ​​whether others have been happy to be employed there.

In the next step of your research, you can go one step deeper and draw on your network. Do you have an old student friend or other acquaintance who has been in the workplace before or who knows your potential future manager? In this way, you may be able to find out whether the workplace is in fact characterised by poor organisation, or whether the manager, who on the surface seems in control, does not take responsibility for prioritising the tasks of his/her employees.

Having said that, you must also remember that everyone is different, and that you may be fine with circumstances that others do not thrive in. Therefore, you must always measure the information you receive about the workplace against your personal preferences.

You should also always call the contact person listed on the advertisement to get more information about the work tasks and everyday life.

If you get to the job interview, you must also continue to remember your critical sense. Prepare questions that give you answers to whether the company matches your wishes. Explain what it takes for you to thrive and ask how it fits with their work culture.

How to prepare for the job interview

Set realistic milestones to keep your motivation up

Job hunting can be a tough process where you have to prepare for rejection. It's not personal, but it can still be difficult to maintain enthusiasm if you spend a lot of energy on the job search without it paying off.

Instead, it's a good idea to set smaller and more achievable sub-goals that you can check off each week. It can be, for example:

  • Arranging a coffee meeting with an employee at an interesting workplace
  • To call on one job advertisement
  • To send one application
  • Being active with updates or comments on LinkedIn

Even if you really want a new job, it is also not a good strategy to increase the job search so that it takes up all your free time. Make sure you relax and do activities that make you happy. Exercise, be with family and friends or read a book. If you are going to stick with the job search for a longer period of time, it is important that you also thrive in your everyday life.