Learning to be Specific in My Job Search

Back in late summer / early fall of 2017, I was desperate to move to Oregon. My boyfriend was three hours away, just over the border, and wanted me to move in with him. My only roadblock? I needed a job. So I started looking locally in his area.

I wanted a job that was a little better than what I currently had, but I wasn't expecting anything amazing. To help with the job search process, I made a list of my requirements: 

> More money than I made at my current job in Washington
> Good benefits (my current job had no benefits offered, so at that point, any benefits were good benefits!)
> Close to (my new) home

Short and sweet. I applied for dozens of jobs. Some were long shots and some felt like sure bets. I ended up accepting the first offer that came along. It wasn't quite what I really wanted to be doing, but it was close enough. All I knew was that I needed SOMETHING to get me to Oregon.

So all was well and good. I moved down to Oregon. I started my new job. I got into the groove of things... and suddenly remembered that this new job was NOT what I'm trained to do and it was definitely NOT what I wanted to be doing for the foreseeable future.

And so I started the process once more.

The first step was to figure out what I wanted in a new job. The first question is always, "What job title do you want?" That didn't feel quite right, however. I don't know what job title I want. I love graphic design, but I also love writing. I love editing a little more, but I also love working with happy customers.

So maybe it's not so much figuring out WHAT I want to do, but figuring out who I want to work with and what sort of business I want to work for. I'm happy, productive, and valuable in several different roles but I won't be any of those things working with an awful team or for a company that doesn't care about their employees.

That brings us to today. I've realized that my mindset is completely different this time around. My goals are different. And my list of requirements is a bit longer:

> Full-time position
> Remote-only job
> Monday through Friday
> Health insurance is offered for at least me
> More money than I currently make now
> A company I can be passionate about, with good culture and employees that enjoy their work
> Room for growth and opportunities
> A supervisor that trusts his/her employees

I also have some very strong wants: 
> Flexible schedule (if I want to work on a weekend, fine. If I want to work until 9pm, fine. I just want to plan work around my life, not the other way around)
> Unlimited vacation (definitely a want, but I won't take less than 3 weeks per year)
> Monthly wellness stipend
> Up-front Technology / Office stipend
> Monthly/yearly education stipend
> Health insurance 100% paid for, for both myself and my spouse

Through my journey, I've seen a lot of companies with really extravagant benefits and perks, which have definitely contributed to some of those wants. But I've also seen some companies with basic offerings where it's STILL clear that they appreciate their employees and do as much as they can to show them. I think I'd be happy at either location. Sure, it'd be nice to have all the extra stipends and bonuses and whatnot, but in the end, those truly aren't the things that will make me love my job.

By truly defining what I'm looking for in a job, I've been able to narrow down a list of companies I'd REALLY love to work with. I'll share those with you on a later post and tell you a bit about what they did right.

But the point is, your wants and needs may change. I currently have an okay job that pays me well, but I'm not desperate to make the jump yet. That will give me the chance to make good, informed decisions when it comes to a huge career change.

When I made the move to this company, it was exactly what I needed. Now, my needs have changed and I'm ready to make some changes in my life. By being specific, I now know what I need to concentrate on and I can make decisions more quickly about whether or not a potential employer is right for me.. No more applying to literally anyone who might have me. I'm setting my sights on the right job for ME.