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Section 1: Understanding Yourself:
Defining your priorities
This resource center is all about helping you set an effective employment strategy. To be immediately effective, you must approach future employment by examining yourself.
Thus, begin the quest for an effective employment strategy by understanding what drives you.
What are your priorities? What do you want out of your career? What is important to you?
People choose jobs for different reasons. Some are concerned about making as much money as possible, while others are more interested in stability and security. Several are interested most in health insurance and retirement plans. Still others would choose a job with lower pay to have greater advancement opportunities.
This first exercise will help define your job seeking priorities. In other words, what you want from your employer? Obviously, we don’t always have the luxury of choosing one employer over another. However, understanding your career wants and needs from the start gives you mental preparedness. In turn, mental preparedness is the foundation to an effective employment strategy.
Consider reasons people choose one job over another. Better yet, think about your career wants and needs. The following worksheet has been developed to help you visualize your priorities.
Write as many career wants and needs down on the lines provided below. If you are using this resource center as a part of a class, write the class results below. You should be able to fill out the list completely.
Save the second column for later. Some obvious wants and needs have already been listed for you.
Health Insurance ______
Dental Insurance ______
Advancement Opportunities ______
After you have completed the career wants/needs list, the next step is to prioritize. This is all about you. Here is your task:
Go back and order the original list above from top to bottom. In the second column, place the number 1 next to the highest priority in your life. In other words, if you are in need of a triple lung transplant, you might want to put “health/dental insurance” as your number one choice.
Go along down the line ordering the list from your top priority to your bottom priority. List your priorities below in their new order:
Often times it helps to write your thoughts down on paper. While you are creating an effective employment strategy, there will be many opportunities to reflect on thoughts about your future career.
Now that you have prioritized your list, it will be helpful to reflect on this exercise. Why did you choose your top three priorities? How about the bottom three priorities? Why are they last?
To answer these questions, re-write your top three and bottom three priorities and offer an explanation.
Top 3 priorities
Bottom 3 priorities
Your priorities are now set and will be the foundation for your employment strategy. The next step is to merge your employment priorities with other areas of your life.
Last Updated: October 7, 2014