Seven Steps to Your Ideal Job

Over the past two years employment opportunities in Oil and Gas and also in some areas of mining have been greatly affected.

Some people took advantage of the downturn in the oil price and in some subdued mineral prices to retire, to start their own businesses, to take sabbaticals to learn new skills, to dedicate their time to travel or to embark upon family projects which had not received attention for years.

Some people just don’t like change. Others see change as a part of life and embrace it. What makes one camp so different to the other? Well, I think the key factor is how one sees the world, the course of history, and how confident one is about adapting to changing circumstances. Even periods which are today seen as stuffy and old fashioned - the Victorian era, for example - were in their day eras of remarkable change. And it wasn't named the Industrial Revolution for nothing.

I personally like change. Even when it means losing a job through redundancy or a corporate transaction or restructuring. Even if it means being uncomfortable about what happens next. Even if it means uncertainty about finances. We all heard the expression “as one door closes, another door opens”. But people tend to start worrying and it really does not have to be like that. Though it very often is.

This is why I would like to share some tips with my community regarding what to do if you are in the process of finding your next paid job.

Before I outline my thoughts about what I think needs to happen in order to find a new job (and not just any job but an ideal job) I would like to briefly look back to the time when I struggled to get my first job in the UK. I had relocated to London from Australia, having previously emigrated to Australia from the Former Soviet Union. After spending 15 years in the executive search and coaching profession in London I can now look back on my own experiences and hopefully help others avoid some key mistakes which I made. Mistakes which I see others repeating all the time.

After all, strong job-search skills are not something which we are taught. How many times do we need to look for a new employer in our lives? It isn't a common event for most of us. But we all need to develop top-rate job-search skills if we seek successful, enjoyable and rewarding careers and the confidence that, should our current employment cease, we will not be at a dead-end, wringing our hands and not knowing which way to turn.

Here are seven key mistakes that I made. And others are making them too:

Mistake Number One

I did not have a clear vision of what I wanted to do. To be frank, I now see that my attitude was fatalistic - I thought I was largely powerless regarding what happened to me. I did not have a broader picture of what I wanted to do with my life and which directions I could follow. I had a BA degree and an MBA from a leading business school and I had worked in Australia in the areas of recruitment, employment advice and recruitment in the not-for-profit sector - surely I should have known exactly what to do? Sadly, I didn't. I knew that I wanted to work with people but I could not see what my ideal job would look like.

Mistake Number Two

My psychology was in misalignment with my goal. What do I mean by that? In order to achieve any goal, one’s mindset needs to be aligned with the thing we want to achieve. I had a lot of doubts about being successful with my job-search efforts. I did not have confidence in myself, I did not feel that I deserved to land a great job, and I did not expect to find a job easily. I now see, speaking as a coach, that I had a lot of limiting beliefs and fears which were preventing me from appearing to the market as someone of whom potential employers would take notice and would want to give a job. I had very little chance of finding any job let alone an ideal one.Welcome to your blog post. Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.

Mistake Number Three

I did not have a full understanding of my skills, experience, talents and values. This lack of understanding of what I could offer an employer was reflected in my CV and in my covering letter. This further reduced my success rate with the job applications that I was sending out on a regular basis.

Mistake Number Four

I did not have a winning job-search strategy and tactics. In fact I did not have any proper strategy at all. I took random actions, sending my CV in response to job adverts. I registered with couple of recruitment agencies and I asked for advice from a few people with whom I had become friends through my volunteer work with a charity.

Mistake Number Five

I did not take consistent action to achieve my goal. Daily. I did not apply persistence and consistency to my goal.

Mistake Number Six

I did not practice my interview skills or my salary negotiation skills.

Mistake Number Seven

I did not have the right support and guidance.

I can see it all so very clearly now. If I were looking for a job today I would address every one of the above seven points. So what do I suggest? Looking at each of the above in turn:

Step Number One - Be clear on what you want

Become crystal clear on your goal. If you don’t know your destination, how are you going to get there? Dream big, as if you had no obstacles. What would your ideal job look like? Close your eyes and quieten your mind. Focus on what would it be like to do what you love. Imagine yourself in your ideal job. Ask yourself - where am I, what am I doing in this new job, what does my typical day look like, who am I working with, what does the building where I am working look like, what are the offices like, what is the atmosphere there, what is my title, how much money I am being paid for my work, what results I am delivering in my new job? Imagine that it is real. Allow your imagination to flow - and pay attention to what you are feeling in this new job. Making an emotional connection to your goal is a very powerful step towards your achievement of that goal.

Step Number Two - Align your thinking to your goal

Align your mindset with your goal. Do you have any doubts about achieving your goal? What beliefs do you hold about your ability to achieve your goal? What other obstacles are you experiencing? What you should be feeling is a sense of anticipation of what is coming. You should be feeling a sense of freedom that you are in charge of this process and that you have a choice. You should aim for a state of total belief that the best job will reveal itself to you, that you will secure it, and that you are happy and are enjoying the process.

Step Number Three - Know yourself

Get to know YOU very well - write down your skills, your achievements, what you are proud of, what you are really good at, what your natural talents are, where you were happiest in a past job or in any other activities (hobbies, charitable work, university projects, etc). Most people complain about not being good at “selling themselves” or not having a “natural inclination for effective self-presentation”. I know that by genuinely understanding yourself and through being clear on what you offer to potential employers, these inhibitions will vanish and your self-confidence will improve.

Step Number Four - Expand your strategies

Construct a winning job-search strategy and tactics. What would happen if instead of three job-search strategies you could come up with perhaps 50? How much better would be your results? What is your potential market? Which companies do you like and respect in your main industry, and others of which you have experience as a customer or supplier, or because of their good reputation in the market? Create a spreadsheet or other trackable document where you can enter some basic business information about these companies. Write down against each company who you already know at that company or who you know who might have a connection to someone at that company. Write down job titles. Research the names of people who are in a position to make hiring decisions. Research networking or other events where you can potentially meet people who work in these companies. Make a list of people whom you want to contact and (a) tell them that you are looking for a new opportunity or (b) ask them if what you can offer to them might support their business objectives. Make a list of recruitment companies that specialise in your area and sign up to job-alerts on Linkedin and other job-boards. What else can you put on your strategy list? Be creative and go outside your comfort zone. The more options you can add to your job-search strategies the quicker you will achieve your goal.  

Step Number Five - Communicate like the pro you are

Create a CV that stands out and presents you in the best light. Match your skills to those of the ideal job which you seek. Update all your social media profiles. Create a covering letter or template for sending out to different segments and participants/stakeholders in your job search.

Step Number Six - Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice your interviewing skills alone or with another person and don’t forget to practice salary negotiating techniques.

Step Number Seven - Surround yourself with supportive people

Spend more time with successful people and those who support you and who love you and who will hold a vision for you until you land your ideal job.

I know that it is much more easily said than done. But I know that all seven steps are important. You might be good at most of them and not very good at one or two of them - those one or two will hinder your success and delay your progress. Identify and deal with them.

These steps are equally useful for a number of other situations which you can potentially face in your life. For example, you left your job because it was no longer meeting your life objectives, or you are thinking of moving on from your current job because your personal circumstance have changed. Or maybe you want to find something which would meet your goals for personal growth, fulfilment, the acquisition of new skills, stepping into a more senior role, changing industries, etc. And remember - Your Life, Your Rules. You have more control of what happens in your professional life then you might think is the case.

I successfully apply this process with clients in my coaching programme. I have had some great results with it and I know the process works. All of its components link together to help deliver success. Many of these things are easier if we have someone to support or coach us. I am happy to be of service to you. If you want to work with me and receive my personal guidance and expertise dedicated to your personal situation I will be very happy to speak to you.

I offer a 45 minute free consultation call. Please email me at

Please leave me your comments and share this article with anyone whom you think might benefit from it. Doing what you love is one of the most important things in life. And becoming clear on what you really love doing and becoming empowered in getting your ideal job is not only invaluable but is a great investment in yourself and in your future.