Simple Ways To Utilize Critical Thinking In Your Job Search by Mark Anthony Dyson
People want results by doing what’s easy for the least amount of money or time. It’s true with clothes, fitness, and job search. It takes critical thinking to successfully job search when you’re scaling your career for more money and satisfaction. It’s going to cost you strategy and effort at the beginning. It’s costly, but it’s essential.
Below is the episode with Bethany Wallace from earlier this year as we discussed principles of critical thinking, but I want to summarize and add to what was said.
1. Put yourself in the shoes of hiring managers.
Researching the company is critical, and so is knowing what you can about the team you’ll be working with and the people you’ll interact with during the interview process. Know if and how you’ll be a fit on the team.
What does this look like? Find out what skills are critical for the position. Most students find out adaptation and perpetual learning are key. Know the professional organizations they participate in, the team goals and values, and how they work. When you research the hiring manager, find out what success is and their criteria for rewarding performance, if any.
2. Approach the job search with the mindset of a consultant
Consultants target problems and bring an array of strategies to solve them. They are looking at the cause of problems, how it’s affecting performance and results, and finding long-term solutions to save the company money and time while increasing production. With a consultant mindset, you will ask specific questions to drill down to the root of issues.
What does this look like? Use LinkedIn to find the last employee who held the position. After a 10-minute discussion about the position and its challenges, ask if there are other people you can talk to who work for the department or as an internal partner. If an employee refers you, ask them about their experiences.
3. Position problem-solving as a case study
More employers are testing candidates on how they think. You must be ready to either document or verbally present you’re abilities to problem solve.
What does this look like? When presented with a scenario, you’ll need to show your knowledge of the problem, the possible problems you will confront, and how you’ll solve the problem. The employer may look for your summary of why your proposed solution works. It may be a short-term solution, but you must know why. The answer might not be right, but it shows your critical thinking.
We learn so much from thinking out loud with people who had the experience of doing it so well. You can pay a coach for it or people you know who can help you with thoughtful strategies. It’s inexpensive to clarify what you want and where to do it. The only cost you pay is the time.