Target and Timing: Ready…Set…Wait?

One challenging aspect of a job transition is establishing clear target companies for your search. That challenge is made even more difficult by the reality of the financial resources you have available to pursue those targets. The time you may have to expend to achieve landing at the target may exceed the money you have to live on while doing so.  

To support you in how to approach this challenge, Crossroads Career is pleased to introduce you to a new exercise we call Target and Timing! One of our Crossroads Ambassadors created this visual, as he and I recently worked through the scenario he was facing in his search.

Here’s how the exercise works:

  1. Fill in the target with company names/industries/types of jobs that you would like to pursue.  Each ring away from the center is less of a target than those in the bullseye.
  2. Fill in the chart to the right of the target. Depending on the finances available to you, and your personal level of comfort/discomfort with ambiguity on more pay coming in, allocate out the weeks/months that you think feels right for your focus on Ring #1, Ring #2, etc.  
  3. Fill in the words that you would use to describe your focus on those targets, given the money available for the time you might need to achieve them.
  4. Push back from your work and take a high level scan of it.  How do you feel about it? I then suggest you sleep on it, and review it again.

As you just experienced, this exercise is highly subjective and personal.   Which is why NOW is precisely the time to do it! Completing this exercise before you become too emotionally tied to a target or outcome is critical to help you objectively manage your search.

Proverbs 16:9 is one of my favorite verses.  It reads, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” While it is good to have a plan, we always are to be seeking the Lord’s direction for our paths.  

For a blank version of this exercise that you can use in your own job search, please click here or find it in Crossroads’ Step 4 (Altitude) Resources.

Dave Sparkman currently serves as the volunteer Crossroads Career board chair and local ministry leader. He is also the founder and managing director of Spark Your Culture, a corporate culture consulting firm. Prior to that he worked at UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune #5 public company, serving in the role of Chief Culture Officer. His unemployment experience came from the implosion of Arthur Andersen, where he served as the West Region Managing Partner, People.

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