Brian Tracy's Job Search Tips

Published: May 06, 2019
Modified: Mar 25, 2020

By Brian Tracy

In this excerpt from his new book "Reinvention," professional development guru Brian Tracy outlines a plan to help you get the job you really want—in any economy.

Determine Exactly What You Want
Most people take whatever job is offered to them. They allow employers to determine the direction of their careers. Many people have never really given much thought to their careers since they took their first job. They have merely reacted to the demands placed upon them as the years went by. But this is not for you.

Here are ten exercises that you can practice throughout your career to make sure that you are on the right track.

  1. Describe your ideal job. Remember you can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Imagine that you could do anything you want in the world. Exactly what would that job look like?
  2. Look around you in the marketplace. If you could have any job that you see, doing anything, what exactly would it be? If you do see a job that you like, phone or go and talk to someone who is doing that job and ask for the person’s advice. You’ll be amazed at the insights that people will give you in just a few minutes of conversation.
  3. Project yourself into the future. What sort of work would you like to be doing in three to five years? Everyone has to start at the beginning in a new job or career, but you must be clear about where you want to be and what you want to be doing in the future. This enables you to make a much better decision with regard to taking a job in the first place.
  4. If you could work anywhere in the country, taking into consideration weather and geography, where exactly would you like to work? Many people pack up and move to a different part of the country before taking a new job because that is where they have always wanted to live. Could this be true for you?
  5. What size or type of company would you like to work for? Would you like to work for a small, medium, or large company? Would you like to work for a hi-tech or low-tech company? Would you like to work for a service or a manufacturing company? Describe the ideal company for you in as much detail as you possibly can.
  6. What kind of people would you like to work with? Describe your ideal boss. Describe your ideal colleagues. Remember, the quality of your co-workers and your social relationships at work are going to have more of an impact on your happiness and success than any other factor. Choose your boss and your colleagues with care. What kind of people would you like to work with and for?
  7. How much would you like to earn? How much do you want to be earning in one year? Two years? Five years? This is very important. You should be asking questions about your earning ability and earnings ceiling at the job interview. Be sure that the job is at a company or in an industry that enables you to achieve your earnings goals within the time horizon you’ve projected. What are your earnings targets?
  8. Who else is working at the kind of job that you would like to do or earning the kind of money that you would like to earn? What are they doing differently? What qualifications do they have that you still need to acquire?
  9. Who can give you advice? Whom do you know who can help you position yourself for the kind of job you want? Who can point you in the right direction? Whom should you ask for help? Remember, everyone who succeeds does so with the help of other people.
  10. What level of responsibility do you desire? How high up do you want to rise in your career? What level or position would you be most comfortable with?

Develop Clarity of Purpose
The greater clarity you have about exactly what it is you want to do, where you want to do it, and how much you want to earn, the easier it is for someone to hire you and pay you the kind of money you want to make. Go back over these questions and answer them one by one before you go out looking for your next job.

More than 3,300 studies have found that one of the characteristics of leaders is that they have the ability to create a vision. This is something that you can develop by simply deciding to do so. You develop vision by projecting forward five or ten years into the future and thinking about how you would like your life to be if everything were ideal in every respect.

Leaders create a clear ideal picture for themselves and then they continually look for ways to make that ideal a reality. When you develop a clear vision for yourself and your future, the only question you then ask is, ‘‘How do I create this?’’ Failure is not an option. How can you go about finding or creating the kind of job that you want where you can achieve your full potential? When you are clear about your vision for yourself and your future, you will be amazed at how much more likely you are to find the best job for you.

Set Clear Goals for Your Life
Goal setting is the ‘‘Master Skill’’ of success. Success is goals and all else is commentary. When you are absolutely clear about your goals in every area of your life, the probabilities of your achieving those goals increases by several times.

Following is my seven-part goal-setting formula. Once you learn this formula, you can  practice it for the rest of your life.

  1. Decide exactly what you want. Most people never do this. Decide exactly what you want in your career, and with your health, your finances, your family, and your future. You cannot hit a target that you can’t see.
  2. Write it down in clear, specific language. Only 3% of adults have clear, written goals, and they accomplish more than all the others put together. Remember, a goal that is not in writing is merely a wish or a fantasy. It has no energy behind it.
  3. Set a deadline for your goal. If it is a large goal, set subdeadlines. Program your subconscious mind with a specific date upon which you wish to achieve your goal. Don’t leave it hanging in the air.
  4. Make a list of everything you can think of that you can do to achieve your goal. Think on paper. When you think of new things, keep adding them to your list until your list is complete.
  5. Organize your list into a plan. Decide what you need to do first and what you can do later. Decide what is more important and what is less important. Once you have a goal and a plan, you will run circles around people who are just trying to figure things out as they go along.
  6. Take action on your plan. Do something. Do anything. Put your plan into effect immediately. Hesitation and procrastination are the stumbling blocks upon which many of the greatest plans fail.
  7. And finally, do something every day that moves you toward your most important goal. Discipline yourself, every single day, to do something—anything—that moves you in the direction of what you want most at that time.

Questions for Reflection

  • What are the best jobs you have ever had, where you were the happiest and felt most fulfilled?
  • What did your best jobs, and best parts of those jobs, have in common?
  • If you could be guaranteed success at getting and doing well in any job, what job would you go after?
  • What kinds of people, as employers, co-workers, and customers, do you most enjoy working with?
  • Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and create the perfect job for you; what would it look like?
  • Where do you want to be in your career in five years, and what additional skills and knowledge will you have to have at that time to be successful?
  • What is the first thing you should do as the result of your answers to these questions?

Adapted from Reinvention: How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life, by Brian Tracy (AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, 2009).

About the Author(s)

Brian Tracy is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. One of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today, he has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide. He has written 65 books and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on management, motivation, and personal success.