Why Job Hunting is Good for You
The whole process of looking for a job is a great exercise in self-awareness. As you craft your resume, go on interviews, research companies, etc., you’re trying to find the fit that will make the most of your strengths, align with your values and help your grow in your career. If you’re being mindful of all that as you pursue your next job, you’ll not only find the right environment, but you’ll work with people and on projects that allow you to use your best skills and abilities.
So, how do you make sure you’re on the right track?
- One of the first things to do is to take a good, hard look at where you are right now in your life and in your career. Most people think they’re above average in terms of skills, knowledge and abilities. But if you don’t have a handle on your weaknesses or “blind spots,” you really can’t figure out how to work best with others and team up with those who are strong in the areas where you’re lacking.
- Ask your peers for honest feedback and who know what it takes to be successful. Try to get specific information about your hard and soft skills and how you compare to others on your team.
- Consider taking a personality test. It’s a good way to gather some insight into who you are and how you behave. Once you know that, you’ll be in a better position to make some changes to get you closer to your goals.
- A good coach or mentor can also provide quality feedback that can open you up to new ideas and to make changes that help you advance in your new position.
- Keep a notebook to help you to see patterns. Do you always look for the same type of job with the same type of management structure? Do you always answer the interview questions in the same way? Are you open to sharing some insights about your strengths and weaknesses with the hiring manager to ensure you’re a good fit for the job?
- Ask yourself “why” you like the things you like. How did you get interested in those things in the beginning? What do you like most about this job? How does it fit with your personality? If you make a list of the things you enjoyed in the past or enjoy now, you’ll be better able to define who you are.
- Reflect regularly on your day, week, month or year. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes at the end of the day or week, etc. to think about situations at work and how they affected you. How might you like to change (or repeat) that in your next position? What’s your current role in your team? Can you see yourself in another role?
The Importance of Self-Knowledge to your Job Search
You can’t really find the perfect job if you don’t know what you’re looking for, right? You may already know in what area of hospitality you’d like to work, but that really isn’t enough to find a job that’s really fulfilling. You need to understand what motivates you, what your goals are, what kind of work environment you want and what qualities you want to develop.
When you have a clear understanding of what strengths you bring to the job, you’re better able to work on things where you can contribute in a meaningful way and not waste time on the things you can’t. That’s not to say you shouldn’t work on your weaknesses, but honing your strengths is where you’ll really shine.
If you aspire to management, you’ll find that understanding your triggers and reactions to particular situations will go a long way toward making you an effective leader. Hospitality and customer service can be chaotic at times and knowing how you react to stress and learning to manage your emotions will directly improve your productivity.
Self-awareness unlocks your competitive advantage. When you take the time to explore this during your job search, you’ll be much better equipped to find the company, job and manager that align with your personal goals and career plan.