The year has begun and things might have changed for you. Perhaps you have just received your matric results or your work contract came to an end in December? Now you need to find a new path. You want to find a job and, although you can get advice from family, friends and even the Fundza Workwise blog, sometimes, it’s hard to get started. The best way to begin is to set some clear goals. This will include the many small steps you need to take to achieve your ultimate big goal of finding employment. As Aristotle said 2000 years ago, “Well begun is half done” so starting this year well prepared is halfway to achieving success!

Here are some suggestions about how to set your goals:

Think carefully about what you want to achieve workwise this year. What type of work would you like to do? Remember that everyone has to start on or near the bottom so be realistic about what you might be able to apply for. Perhaps you don’t want a formal job but would like to start something small of your own? What type of activity are you interested in doing? Can you offer to do admin at a local school? Are you interested in working in a clothing store or in an office? Do you want to work in IT? Making this important decision – and you could have several different options here – sets the direction in which your small goals will be set.

Write it down
It helps to write things down – it makes them more concrete and achievable. Write down what you have decided to do. If you have more than one path you want to follow and they need different stepping stones, then write two different plans. Always set a time goal so give yourself a time for completing each task. For example, if you need to write a CV, give yourself two days to write it (and write down the completion date). You can even give yourself time to plan. Perhaps you want to achieve that this week (so write down the completion date). As well as writing your goals down, talk to someone about them. Both writing and speaking to others about them really does help to make them more realistic and achievable.

Be specific
In your plan, write down each small step you need to take to achieve your overall goal. For example, start with making your decision on what path or paths to take, then write your CV, start searching for jobs or opportunities, write covering letters for each job etc. Remember to make each of these goals time related so that this stage doesn’t drag on for too many weeks! You’ll want to achieve these quite quickly so that you can find a job as soon as possible.

Take your first step
Sometimes motivating yourself to take the first step is the hardest part of the journey. Everything seems so difficult and confusing. But a 1000-mile journey always starts with one step so taking the first step is the most important one. If you don’t take the first step, nothing will happen! Planning your goals could be your first step as it will clarify your thinking about what you’re going to do. You could start with looking at jobs on the internet to see what is available and then make your decision about what type of work you want to do and after that start planning.

Keep going
It can be very difficult to achieve your goals sometimes. Finding work is never easy. But when you get frustrated – keep going! You may need to relook at your decisions or shift your goals but you need to work at it despite setbacks. Perhaps you need to rethink your goals and change things around. Perhaps you can’t find work in your field of interest so you will need to take a course of some kind. Perhaps you will need to volunteer first at an organisation before you can land that good office job. Finding different ways to achieve your goals makes it more likely that you will succeed in the end.

Always remember that if a paid job is not forthcoming straight away, this may be a time when you can prepare yourself for work by taking online courses or doing some volunteer work in a field of interest. By volunteering you might receive some sort of allowance and it will give you much needed experience in your field of interest. It will also start to create a network for you of people who may be able to help you achieve your goal of finding employment. These sorts of contacts you make in the workplace can be invaluable.

There is a huge number of resources available to you to help you to build a successful career both here on the Fundza mobi site as well as on the internet. Ask people you know to give you information too. Build your network, keep yourself focused and you will be able to achieve your goals!


Tell us: have you got any other tips for job-seekers?