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Finding your next job - The Next Step Project
For Job Seekers

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3. Applying for the right role

How do you decide what roles to go for and what’s the right fit for you and your goals?

Why it matters

You have limited time and energy - use it wisely. Reflect on what you loved or loathed doing, as well as learning about and pursuing opportunities that meet (e.g., changing the world, inclusive culture) and (e.g., commute time, salary), rather than applying to every job you see.

What to remember

Don’t screen yourself out
Most hiring managers don’t actually expect you to have done or be able to do everything on the job description on day one. just because you don’t meet 100% of the requirements.
Leverage your network
Not all roles are posted - build on your LinkedIn presence, lean on your close friends, and network to find other opportunities. Let others know what you’re interested in and why you’re looking.
Don’t be scared to take interim roles
Decide on what’s most important and what you can be flexible on. Something that feels like a sacrifice or a “step back” from your ideal will still help you learn something valuable. Career progression is not a straight line or a one-size-fits-all path.
Optimize for what’s right for you right now
And don’t let anyone make you feel bad about that. Taking a position to pay your bills or maintain your visa status is often the best short term decision to build a long term path to the career you want to have.
→ Check out for tips from others who’ve been there.

What to do

Figure out what your passions & skills are
To determine what you want to do next and map this to job opportunities.
Plan for reality
By identifying and applying to multiple opportunities and don’t get discouraged if / when rejections come in. This says nothing about you or your worth!
→ Check out for our step-by-step guide.
Think of your search as a ladder
First apply to lower pressure opportunities, with an eye towards your ultimate goal. Be willing to work through your nerves and build good habits to get you ready for the next big thing that comes along.
Identify & make connections
Via LinkedIn who can refer you for roles or give you more context on a company, before you apply.
→ Check out for templates and suggestions.
Prep your pitch
As you begin initial conversations, including how you’ll and what you’re looking for next.
Stay organized
Create your own tracker (or leverage ) to make sure you’re systematically identifying opportunities, application status, and follow-up actions (including with any contacts who may be able to help!).

More Resources

Advice on what to consider as you think about your next role

Suggestions for building out your list beyond the usual considerations of salary, location, and title

Tips and tricks to stay organized during your hunt and application process

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