How to Focus Your Job Search (When You Don’t Know What You Want To Do)

When you’re finding a job after college, it’s natural to feel a little lost at first. You’re still discovering what your strengths are, what kinds of roles could be a good fit, and even what industry resonates with you. While it’s tough, it is critical to your success in your job search to know these things before you begin. OK, so you don’t have to know. Nobody really knows. But you have to pick a direction and stick with it. At Koru, we talk a lot about getting to a place where you’re 51% sure of what you want to do and going with it. You can always change directions later, but you have to commit to something before you get started. Why? Because lacking direction in your job search is a red flag, and it will hover over you thoughout your interviews and even into your first career. When you don’t know what roles are of interest, it is difficult to figure out where to start your job search, and as a result, it is difficult for people to know what to do with you. My job is helping people who have gone through the Koru program find a great job that’s a fit for their skills and passions. I love helping people find the perfect match, but you have to do your part too. If someone comes to me and says, “Courtney, I want to be in sales,” I will immediately start listing off all of the companies that look for people with a passion for sales (we’ve even had Korus hired on the spot because of their clarity on this). Similarly, if you were to tell me, “I want to work at zulily,” I can easily help prepare you for the necessary steps to take. On the other hand – if you’re wishy-washy about roles or companies or even industries, it’s not only hard for me to give you a recommendation, it’s hard for me to recommend you to people who are hiring. Being all over the map on your job search not only makes it hard to use your connections, it will hurt you once you get into your job interviews. One of the primary pieces of feedback I get from employers about why someone was not hired is that the person lacked direction. They didn’t know why they wanted to be at that company, or why they wanted to be in that role. Recruiters want to see that you have passion, interest, and curiosity surrounding both their company and the job in question. Finally, lacking in direction can hurt you once you get into a job. For those people who feel like the world is their oyster (I used to be one of them), you often are left thinking, “What if I had gone down that other road.” “What if…” can be dangerous when you are starting off your career and need to stay focused. In your first job you have to work hard, you have to stay present, and you need to stick with it, otherwise you run the risk of falling into the category of millennials notorious for bouncing around without commitment to a company or role. Get to 51%. Commit to that career direction. See it through for a while. If it’s not a fit, drop it and find your next 51%.

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