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ShanghaiGuide

Shanghai Jobs - Organizing your Job Search

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Before you do anything else, you should take a few minutes and think about your career goals. You may think that the most important thing is salary and bonus, but thats really not a very good foundation for a professional job search. Instead, we should be looking at three basic aspects of our career:

Skills
Job function
Industry

Skills may be things you are already good at, such as accounting, marketing, English, etc. But a skill also refers to things you want to get good at. Before you begin sending out resumes and talking to potential employers, it is a good idea to make a list of job-related skills you have AND of job-related skills you lack. During a job interview you will highlight your strengths, of course, but you can also find a way to turn your weaknesses into advantages. When the interviewer asks you do you have any questions for me about the company, you can ask about their training programs and opportunities for development. This will demonstrate that you are thinking about your future with the company, and that you have a plan for developing your own skills.

Job function refers to what you are actually doing at work. Many young managers are so focused on working for a prestigious company or earning a big salary that they end up working in jobs that dont really suit them. This causes big problems down the line. It is important to choose a career that matches your personality and skills. Salesmen earn a lot of money but they are very independent, outgoing and aggressive. Does this sound like you? Every occupation emphasizes different aspects of your personality. In general, accounting and financial jobs are very detail-oriented.

They are appropriate for studious types that have a head for figures. IT professionals are good at solving problems, and pay a lot of attention to details. Marketers are creative and enthusiastic. Managers are leaders who are comfortable with authority and responsibility.

Of all the job function, Sales is the most money-oriented. It is ok to say you are interested in a sales job because you want to make as much money as possible but for other job functions this would not be too appropriate.

Choosing the right industry is also extremely important. You should have a good reason for selecting the particular industry you are going into, because many times it is extremely difficult to switch to an unrelated field. The industry you work in should excite or interest you in some way. No one wants to spend 10 hours a day, 5 days a week working in a business that they find boring or unpleasant. Your choice of industry can be made on solely emotional grounds. Its perfectly ok to tell an interviewer you want to work in the restaurant business because you love to cook (but not to EAT he will think you will eat all the profits!), or that you want to work in shipping because you are interested in international business. If you are talking about banking, however, say you are interested in FINANCE not that you love money.

Be aware that the same job function can be quite dissimilar in different industries. Sales are a completely different profession in finance than it is in the food-service or entertainment businesses.

When you interview with a potential employer, it is your responsibility to know all about the industry, the job description and the skills required. Make sure that you know the basic requirements of the job you are interviewing for BEFORE you send them your resume. Interviewers are impressed by a thoughtful, knowledgeable candidate who seems to have a clear plan about his own career.

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