I made $3,200 in the first month of starting my business. I attribute my success to many things, but if asked what the key to it was, I wouldn’t hesitate to respond, “I knew exactly what I wanted, so I knew exactly where to look.”
You see, if your only goal is money, then you’ll take the first job you get and you’ll probably be miserable. Before you start looking for a job or a way to start your own business, you need to take a step back and look inward. You need to know exactly what you want and don’t want and have it written down or memorized so it guides you onwards.
I like to call this set of criteria “the beacon.” Your beacon will be your point of reference from here on out. Every decision you make, every direction open to you, everything will be decided in light of the beacon.
Your beacon is not necessarily for your life’s career. My beacon’s purpose was to help me find a part-time job which would support me while I pursued my other dreams, one of which is this blog. It can be for your career, but it doesn’t have to be.
So let’s get started. If you haven’t already, take out a piece of paper and a pen and write “Beacon” on the top. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the page and write “What I Want” on one side and “What I Don’t Want” on the other. Ask yourself, “What do I want in a job?” “What do I not want in a job?” Feel free to add in your skills and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Write until you feel like you’re finished or at least finished for now. Fold it up and keep it with you for the next several days. You may come to find more ideas popping up at random times.
I strongly urge you to keep this handy and add to it. If it’s too general, you may suffer a near miss as I did. By that I mean you may miss your target by a hair. When I first made my beacon, I wanted more than minimum wage, an at-home job so I wouldn’t have to take the bus, and flexible hours. That’s far too general. I ended up taking an online job as a social media evaluator that paid above minimum with hours I could choose but were then locked in. The job made me miserable and I didn’t last more than a month.
What was wrong? It met my criteria! My beacon approved! Yes, but my beacon was too general. I can find a ton of jobs that fit those criteria. If I had spent more time studying myself, I would have realized I needed a job I found meaningful and challenging. It was a learning experience that made me add the more personal criteria that made the beacon uniquely mine.
Also, if you don’t know your MBTI type, now is the time to discover it. It did me a world of good and was an essential part of my beacon. Here is the link to learn more.
Once my beacon was complete, I hit my target on the next shot.
Once your beacon is complete, you can pat yourself on the back because you now have a treasure map. See a job opportunity? Consult your beacon and be strong enough not to settle if it doesn’t meet your criteria. Looking for a job? You now know where to start looking and what areas to avoid.
Your beacon needs to be thorough, well-thought-out, and clear. It should take you time to finish and help you get to know yourself better. Only then will you have in your hands something that will light your way and guide you to reaching your goals.