There are times when you may not be sure about the kind of career you want.

Maybe you have lost the passion you once had for your current career path because of some negative experiences or you thought it was going to be different. Or perhaps you never figured out what you wanted to do and you took the first thing that came your way and hoped you’d figure it out as you go.

There are lots of people who also say “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up” and they’re in their 40s and 50s.

People (read: baby boomers) had a tendency to stay in the same career (and often same company) their whole lives, but the generations that followed have a tendency to make way more career transitions. In a study released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people on average change jobs 11.7 times over their lifetimes.

Whether you have stayed a long time in your job/career or you’ve made a ton of transitions, have you been following a career plan or your dreams? Or has it been a haphazard career trajectory up until now?

The Big Mistake Job Seekers Make

I hear time and again from career transitioners who come looking for coaching, and they admit to me that when they start a job hunt, they don’t take the time to create a strategy with the intention of landing a career they truly desire.

Usually, they are so ready to get out of their current job that they jump online and start applying to anything that “looks half decent.”

Are you guilty of this? I know that in the past, I have done this.

When your intention is to find any job, then what do you think your results will look like?

Generally speaking, I hear from job seekers who approach their career transition this way feel like they are in chaos. Without structure, they feel like they respond to anything and everything that comes their way (saying they are willing to do that kind of job even if it doesn’t completely jazz them).

Most likely, if you follow this approach, you’ll jump to any old job, and you may not ask the questions you need to ask to know whether the job is a good fit for you. This can lead to a lackluster career transition and more unhappiness in your career.

What You Can Do Instead

Next time, you’re ready to jump into the job search, STOP.

Take the time to meditate on what you want. Similar to how you operate in your career, you don’t just jump into action right away. You come together with your team for a few meetings, you get clear on your goals and then make a plan of what happens next. What results do you get when you take the time to do this?

Setting your intention and then making an action plan to land a job you truly desire will change the nature of the game so you get the results you desire. Get clear on what your strengths are, what activities you’re passionate about and your core values, then bring these altogether to figure out what kind of career would mean the most to you.

From that place, you can narrow the scope of your job search to specific areas that you really want to be in rather than applying to anything and everything under the sun. Suddenly, the job search doesn’t seem so daunting or chaotic anymore because you have the structure you crave and you feel like you have a path forward. With this clear vision, you can then target specific people in your network and specific job postings so you limit the amount of time spent in your job search while also looking for EXACTLY what you want.

Having this intention also helps others help you. When recruiters know what you’re looking for, they remember you and know what to look for in a job opportunity so they reach out to you when the fit is there.

Ready to get all the help you deserve? Bring on the intention!

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