**Creator's Note: This document is an accompanying piece to Finding a Job When You Don’t Know What You Want to Do Next, an article published on Harvard Business Review, which I would recommend reading ahead of diving in to frame this exercise.
Strive for brevity:** Concise and precise word choice lead to clarity of thought. As you and the individuals you have engaged to support you in this process identify opportunities of interest, determine how they stack
<aside> 📢 Overview 👋🏾 Hey there, welcome my Career and Personal Manifesto (HBR Ascend Edition)! ****Embarking on a job search can be overwhelming so I created a personal framework to provide structure to the process that I'm open sourcing here—I hope you find it helpful.
How to use this document Think of this as a living breathing document: a place to record your reflections before you set out on your job search journey and store job opportunities that you come across that may be interesting. As your thinking evolves, continue to refine this document.
Document structure This framework, like the job search process is segmented into three categories: evaluate, engage, and execute. Below is an overview of each component and accompanying resources for each section. These are not steps to be followed in order and you will likely move between them through this process.
Evaluate Action: Use the Evaluation Framework to hone in on the factors most and least important to you in your next role.
Note: The reflection questions included are designed to spur active thinking—feel free to answer the ones that feel relevant and discard the ones that do not. Give yourself grace for this to be an ongoing process and work through this in as many sessions as is needed—"finding yourself" or "finding your path" does not happen over a long weekend.
Resources: Evaluation Framework Job Search Criteria Prioritization Matrix
Engage Action: Discussions are a natural part of the job hunting process, so don't feel pressured to navigate this process independently.
Note: Be wary of what I call advice of convenience—taking advice from people simply because they are in your orbit (an easy trap to fall into). The best people to offer counsel are those: (a) you admire, (b) have demonstrated skills and personal attributes you would like to gain, or (c) are doing what you want (or think you want) to do.
Resources: Open Questions Feedback Received
Execute Action: Source job opportunities of interest and determine how they stack up against your evaluation criteria.
Note: Be wary of what I call the noise of opportunity—the multitude of career paths and job opportunities available to an individual—it can immobilize even the most seasoned professionals. There's nothing wrong with exploring your options, but discipline is essential to avoid distractions.
Resources: Opportunities Prioritization Matrix
Evaluation Framework Overview The Evaluation Framework has six categories of considerations used to develop a better understanding of your most ideal next professional step and measure job opportunities against—these categories are:
(i) Environment (iv) Career Narrative (ii) Role (v) Skills Acquisition (iii) Compensation (vi) On the Horizon
Each category includes reflection questions to spur your thinking—feel free to answer the ones that feel relevant and discard the ones that do not.
Job Search Criteria Prioritization Matrix Overview As you work through the reflection questions, assigning levels of importance to the criteria you have identified is essential. This will help you prioritize not just your wants and needs but how to prioritize your time when it comes to interviews and compare job offers if you receive more than one—these priority levels are:
(i) Must Haves (iii) No Ways (ii) Nice to Haves (iv) Skills Acquisition
Record your criteria in the section below. If you prefer to record your preferences on a Kanban-style board, a digital version of the Job Search Criteria Prioritization Matrix is included below as well.
Evaluate Framework: Categories and Reflection Questions
Long-term Planning (Optional)
Tool: Evaluation Framework: Job Search Criteria Prioritization Matrix (Digital Board)
Engage Overview Discussions are a natural part of the job hunting process, so don't feel pressured to navigate this process independently. As you work through this process, you'll want to engage two camps of people:
(i) **thought partners:** people who can weigh in on your thinking and help strategize a path forward (mentors, alums several years out of college, former managers and colleagues, etc.) (ii) **opportunity sourcers:** people in your network that know you are looking for a now role and can help you identify opportunities
Open Questions Questions, concerns, or hesitations will naturally arise as you work through this document—record them below and discuss them with your thought partners when it makes sense to do so.
Feedback Collect feedback from your network through this process and record it here — try to see if there are any themes across people.
Tool: Evaluation Framework: Opportunities Prioritization Matrix (Digital)