What’s the hardest part of job hunting for you?

When I ask the folks that I coach to answer this question, these are some of the things I hear:

  • I don’t know what hiring managers are looking for
  • I’m confident in my skills, but I don’t know how to find another job where I can use them
  • I’m not confident I can earn more and I’m afraid I’m going to be wasting my time
  • I don’t know if what I’m really looking for is out there
  • What do all of these things have in common? They represent something relatively simple – a lack of information.

The good news is that the solution is equally simple:


The great news is that the answers to most of these questions are out there, and available to us with just a little bit of effort.

Approaching the questioning stage of your job search (Should I do this? How should I do this?) as a research process has a couple of massive benefits.

First, no one is going to feel “pressured” by your research. If you reach out to a former colleague to ask about a salary range you could expect in your field, it’s research! It’s you, being a professional, and doing your due diligence. Same thing is true if you reach out to someone who hires in your field. It’s perfectly okay to say, “I’m doing some research on the field, and I was wondering if you could share what skills are most important to you when you hire a (program manager, account executive, financial analyst, etc.)?

Second, when you view this work as research in your own mind, you take the pressure off YOU. It’s not networking – it’s research. It’s not job sourcing – it’s research. You’re not worrying, you’re finding answers! This perspective doesn’t carry the same weight somehow, and it will simultaneously free up your energy in the job search because you will have empowering information to guide you through the process.

Give it a try, and see what you think!

Ever wonder how to land the job of your dreams?
Find out how with 10 Habits of Successful Job Candidates!