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3 crucial questions to ask yourself before embarking on a job search

If you’re considering joining the Great Resignation, it’s no secret that you have your pick of jobs. The United States currently has 11.3 million openings, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many people change jobs to find a better work-life balance, earn a higher salary and move to a new industry.

But before you jump into the job search, it’s important to figure out what matters most to you in a new job by asking yourself some crucial questions.

Job hunting is like dating, Jacqueline Mitchell, a career and life coach at her own consulting firm, told CNBC Make It.

“It’s a relationship you get into. If you don’t know what type of relationship you want and you’re looking for a relationship, you’ll be offered so many different things that don’t align with your values,” Mitchell says.

Just like going on a bad first date, there will be bad first interviews or recruiter screenings that go wrong if you don’t know what you’re looking for in your next job.

Common job search tips can include researching the company and preparing frequently asked interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here?” or ‘Can you tell me more about yourself?’ But Mitchell says these are some of the most important questions to ask before applying for jobs.

What are my limits?

First, Mitchell recommends asking yourself, “What are my limits? »

“During the interview process, a lot of people don’t realize that the way you interview, how you ask questions, and the way you state who you are and how you do things, you set your boundaries here,” says Mitchell.

Limits at work, whether you work in person or remotely, can include any physical, emotional, or mental limitations that keep you from overcommitting or burning yourself out. Do you want to work only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.? Are you comfortable being on call for your position? Do you need the flexibility to work from home?

“What is not beyond you? What brings you harmony?” Mitchell said. “Boundaries are about self-preservation and self-care. Boundaries help you navigate this world, whether professional or personal.”

What are my values?

Establishing values ​​is important for the job you’ll be doing, says Mitchell. Will there be collaborative projects to work with peers? Are there opportunities to learn new skills and improve your talents? Does the position allow you to progress in your career?

You need to ask yourself what your values ​​are before applying for jobs, or like dating, you’ll end up with a match you’re not happy with, she added.

“A lot of people don’t like doing that. Successful people will literally stop and think, ‘What am I looking for?’ then go after that,” Mitchell says. “Instead of casting a wide net and seeing what you catch.”

What life do I want to live?

Deborah Grayson Riegel, a management expert who taught at Wharton and Columbia business schools, told CNBC Make It that she recommends people consider how changing jobs will fit into their life goals. .

Can you imagine living in a loft in a big city or in a house with a swimming pool, perhaps with children or three dogs or two cats, or even crossing the country in a motorhome? If you want any or all of these things, how can your next career move help you achieve these goals?

If you are just starting out in your career, those goals may not be easily achievable with your first job or even in the next five years, Grayson Riegel says having a goal is the first step. Then you can reconfigure your goal over time.

“If you’re a young person in your twenties, it’s quite possible that your life will change many times and significantly over the next 10 years,” says Grayson Riegel. “So think, ‘What do I want my life to look like for the next three years?’ and then you think about that in three years.”

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