Stop Keeping Your Career Options Open: Find Focus

CAREER OPTIONSIf you’re like a lot of people I talk to, you want to keep your career options open because you can do so many different things.

You’re thinking that by keeping career options open, you’re that much more likely to find the right thing – after all, you’re not closing doors, not saying no to opportunities, and you’re showing the world how many different hats you can wear, which in your experience has been a great asset to companies.

Why Keeping Career Options Open Is Hurting Your Job Search

That line of thinking makes sense, and I’ve seen it time and time again. People are afraid to miss out on opportunities for jobs they might have liked or for things that they could have done because they prematurely closed the door.

I get it.

But this fear is actually hurting your chances of getting a job (and of getting the job you really want, in particular).

I know, if you’re thinking right now that you’d take any job, this advice is still for you.

Here’s why:

When you don’t focus your job search, you confuse other people about what you’re looking for.

Focusing Your Career Options and Your Network

Since most jobs (80%) are found in the hidden job market – that is, through your network, not in an online job listing, that means you need to have your army of people out there thinking of you the second they come across something that might strike your fancy.

But how are they going to do that if they think of you as a sales-marketing-strategy-social media-could go into HR maybe-person?

They’re not going to think of you when they come across a job if your focus is wishy-washy.

They will think of you if your focus is laser sharp. This is especially true the further away your connection. Maybe your spouse or your neighbor who knows you’re looking for something new will forgive your unfocused job search and send you a job listing for something, guessing that you might be interested even though you’re keeping your career options open. But what about the guy you knew back in college that you recently reached out to? Or the neighbor who moved and you haven’t seen in three years?

Unless your focus is sharp, they aren’t going to think of you – and they aren’t going to send great opportunities your way.

Three Reasons to Stop Keeping Career Options Open and Get Laser Focus

  1. If you need a job now, this means it’s even more imperative that you get focused and limit your career options to just one thing. You’ll find a job faster if you can create a resume that is targeted, and that shows the employer that you are qualified to do the specific thing they’re advertising for.
  2. Your contacts will send you better leads, meaning that you’ll have jobs that actually make sense for you to apply to.
  3. You’ll have long-term success: In order to gain laser focus, you’ll be forced to focus. That means you’ll need to do the hard work of figuring out what you really want to do, what you’re best qualified to do, and what will make you happy. This is a great long term investment in yourself, your personal development and in your career. It’s so much better than just getting a job and seeing where your career takes you. While you might feel you don’t have the luxury of time or money to figure that out – you need a job now – the truth is you’ll have a more successful career if you know where you’re going, and you’ll get there faster.

Do You Need Help Finding Limiting Career Options and Finding Focus? 

Do you struggle with figuring out what you want to do? Do you recognize that too many career options is a problem? If you need help finding focus, contact me and let me help. You may just need a consultation or you may need coaching, but in the end you’ll reach your career goals.


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