When Job-Searching, The Rifle Beats the Shot Gun.

Why knowing what you want is essential to your job search

If you looking for “a job”, your present pain might compel the shot-gun approach for your job hunt.   But, looking for “anything and everything” usually leads to nothing.   There are numerous reasons why spending deep thought figuring out how to approach your job hunt with a rifle will pay off.        

When you figure out what you want, your reticular activating system (RAS) will alert you to possibilities that lead to your goal.  Your RAS is your brain’s search engine.  Your RAS filters out extraneous details in our overloaded information world.  More importantly, your RAS helps us focus attention on what we want.  

How does this work? Once you decide that you are interested in a certain industry then all news items, conversations, and thoughts related to that sector will seem to magically appear.  Of course, those triggers were always present.  It simply is the case that you had filtered out instead of filtering in this information.  Optimizing your RAS will maximize your energy both in a literal and abstract sense.  


For example, you will then be in a position to capitalize on your targeted area of career interest. If you overhear your cousin mentioning that her neighbor works the industry you are focused upon, then you might take the initiative to meet your cousin’s neighbor.

If you read that a start-up company in your field of interest just received venture funding, then you could immediately attempt to get hired by the company. 

Moreover, if you know what you want you will be more effective when telling others who are in position to help you.  Its very hard to help a friend who wants “a job”.  Its far easier to help a friend who wants a marketing position in the tech sector in Manhattan.

Most importantly, your job searching energy is limited.  Looking at endless postings on job boards will be frustrating.  Knowing that you looking for only specific areas of interest will empower you.