Whatever the reason is for your latest job search, taking a step back and thoroughly assessing your options is vital. Wherever you’re headed, good planning will ensure that your next career move is the right one.

Why are you looking for a new job?

Firstly, it’s important to think about why you’ve decided to look for a job. Which of these roles are you looking for?

  • A similar role in your existing industry
  • A similar role in a different industry
  • An entirely new role or lifestyle

A broad understanding of this will help to refine your search, and get you on the right track before you take a deeper look at yourself and your options.

What matters to you the most?

Searching for a new job isn’t just about what you can do – it’s about who you are as a person. Consider the following:

  • Your ideal work-life balance
  • Your other commitments outside of work
  • How much money you want to have
  • What your long-term aspirations are – in and out of work

And now match this with your skills and interests:

  • Analyse your skills – what they are, and which ones you want to develop
  • Review your knowledge – what your strengths and weaknesses are
  • Consider your values
  • Think about how you work – are you at your best in a team or independently? Do you prefer routine or variety?
  • Think about your interests – at work and at home (practical, artistic, social)

As you begin to build a clearer picture of what’s important to you, and what your skills and aspirations are, you can start to apply this to your job search. What kind of employers are looking for your unique set of abilities and interests?

What are your employment options?

It’s now time to consider the different types of employment options that are open to you. The answer to your employment question may not be simply finding a new role – but finding an entirely new way of working.

Whether working on a permanent, self-employed or freelance basis, there are clear positives and negatives in each approach.


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What market knowledge do you need?

You now have an understanding of your needs and aspirations, as well as a sense of which employment options appeal to you. But you need to find out some information about the market to refine what you’re looking for.


  • The businesses that need your skills
  • The type of roles that these companies offer
  • The person specifications for these roles
  • The experiences of people within these roles


  • The internet!
  1. Establish the search terms associated with what you’re looking for, and bookmark websites that provide the most comprehensive information
  2. Social media is becoming an essential resource for career information. Use LinkedIn and Twitter to search for information relevant to the roles and companies you’re interested in – and even connect with relevant individuals to understand their experience
  3. Search for career blogs, which will provide up-to-date knowledge from experts, peers and others in your position
  • Magazines and journals, online and offline, which can provide a more in-depth knowledge of specific organisations and roles through interviews and case studies
  • Professional bodies – the institutions and organisations associated with the roles you’re interested in
  • Other people – speak to everyone you know about the areas you’re interested in. If they can’t give advice, they may know someone who can

Above all, take the time to refine and evaluate your options – aiming to filter them down into a small selection of potential roles. The more specified your search becomes, the easier the process of finding a new job will be.

And please do speak to one of our consultants for advice on any aspect of your job search – we place great people into permanent, temporary and contract roles every day, so really can help you, wherever you are in your career.

For more information on how you can attract and retain the best talent in your business, please call your local Tate office on 0845 345 4141.

Planning your job search

This post is sponsored by Tate. Follow the link for more information about Practically Perfect PA’s sponsored posts.

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