The year is a quarter over. If you resolved to get a new job this year, it’s time to check in on your progress.

I love movie trailers. I always get to the theater (remember theaters?) early enough to watch them. They’re full of promise and possibilities.

I also love browsing job postings. It’s fun to think about the different paths your career can take.

It’s one reason why I enjoy working with my resume clients so much. I get to hear all about their career paths and help them get ready for the possibilities that come next.

But: while daydreaming about possibilities can be fun, don’t forget to come back down to earth.

Meaning: if you want to move on from your current role, what are you doing to actually move forward to something else?

If you’re stuck in the daydreaming phase or just feeling stuck in your career, take a few minutes every day this week and do the following to get started on a path to a new job:

Monday: Create a chart with the following columns: (1) Company; (2) Job Title; (3) Job Posting Link; (4) Salary Range; (5) Job Duties; (6) My Expertise; and (7) My Gaps.

Tuesday-Thursday: Open your favorite job posting website and scan for positions that look interesting to you.

Fill in your chart by selecting 2-3 postings of interest. Each role gets its own row, and you can complete columns 1-5 using the info from the posting.

The Expertise & Gap columns may take a little more time.

Expertise: What skills and experience do you possess that could help you excel in this role? Jot down some notes about it. It doesn’t have to be pretty or in complete sentences as long as you can understand it.

Gaps: What are you missing? What requirements of the job don’t you meet, but want to meet? Be kind to yourself here—you don’t have to meet all of the qualifications to apply for a job (and keep in mind those oft-repeated stats about men applying to more jobs than women and women only applying to jobs for which they meet 100% of the desired qualifications). The point of this exercise isn’t to talk yourself out of the role, but to identify areas where you want to learn and grow for your own career development in addition to nailing a job interview.

Friday: Take a look at your chart. It should list 6-9 job postings. Look for patterns in the job titles, duties, expertise, and gap columns.

You may need to repeat this exercise for more than a week, but over time, a picture should emerge of the kinds of roles that appeal to you based on the work you like, know, and want to learn to do. That picture can help you narrow down your job search, craft a targeted resume and cover letter, and make thoughtful moves in your career.

Need some help with your resume or cover letter? Check out my services here.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

%d bloggers like this: