Reduce the Emotional Stress and Time Involved in Your Job Search

Introduce focus and objectivity into your job search - and you will minimise stress

Introduce focus and objectivity into your job search – and you will minimise stress

If you’ve ever thought that job searching is emotionally draining and time consuming you’re not alone.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be.

The secret is to understand your needs and capabilities so you can ask powerful qualifying questions before proceeding with your application.

Until you can fully grasp and articulate your needs and capabilities  you’ll be wasting time and emotional energy by chasing non-aligned roles and invariably ending up disappointed by the result.

So how can you get these two areas sorted?

In an earlier article I discussed the importance of defining the key attributes of your next role through the creation of a Role Attribute Template (RAT).  The RAT assists you to structure and ‘weight’ the key criteria reflecting your personal and career values, drivers, and motivators.  These form important attributes for your next role.  It also enables you to ask the right questions during your role research and qualification.

Read about defining role attributes and the RAT here

The challenge is to get a robust set of qualifying questions.

There are two easy steps to assist you to assemble the questions and learn more about yourself along the way.  And the outcomes can be used time and again.

There’s one more step – but you’ll need to complete the first two before doing that one!

Step One: Complete the following two exercises

Exercise 1

Know Your Personal and Career Values, Drivers and Motivators

Know Your Personal and Career Values, Drivers and Motivators

You need the right information to make great personal and career decisions.  You can do this in an unstructured way.  Or you can do it smartly by utilising a career tool.  I recommend CareerCENTRE.  It enables you to analyse your motivators, preferences, values, agility and talents in easy steps complete with reporting and goal setting.   You develop a well rounded profile of the capabilities and criteria that matter to you, and you can keep track of your progress.

Get 12 months access to CareerCENTRE here

Exercise 2:

Maintain your focus throughout your search by using the RAT

Maintain your focus throughout your search by using the RAT

Bring it all together by creating your own personalised Role Attribute Template.

The RAT provides a summary of the results of the CareerCENTRE.  By inputting the outcomes of the CareerCENTRE you remain focused on the motivators, preferences, values, career agility and application of your talents for each role you research.

The criteria outlined in the RAT also forms the foundation for the questions you will ask when contacting the recruitment consultant to qualify the role in or out of your opportunity bucket.

The Role Attribute Template is included free of charge when you purchase CareerCENTRE from

Step Two: Preparing the Qualifying Questions

Now that you have completed exercises 1 and 2 you can confidently search for a new role and contact the recruiter knowing that you have the key criteria and anchor points in place to build a set of qualifying questions.

So what is an appropriate qualifying question?

“Tell me more about the role” is not one of them.  You just can’t get more vague.


Assume working in a growth market and a challenging environment are two of your RAT criteria:

Q1:  “One of your company’s goals is to achieve significant growth.  What contribution do you see this appointment making to this goal?”

Q2:  “What are the three main challenges this appointment will resolve for you?”

You’ve just addressed two RAT attributes and qualified how this particular role will address your needs.  In addition – you’ve now identified a number of hot buttons should you decide to apply for the role!

Do you ask about remuneration?


A difficult question for some, and obviously it’s not all about the remuneration.  However, it’s much better to get this out of the way before you invest too many hours of your time – only to find the remuneration is way off the mark.

How do you ask the question?

Don’t jump straight in!  First ask some questions around the heavily weighted criteria from the RAT.  A low score on these may screen the role out before you get to remuneration anyway.


“….. I’d appreciate the opportunity to clarify a few points before proceeding further.”

[Ask a couple of non remuneration based questions from your RAT check list – as above]

Assuming you’d like to proceed further….

“What is the salary range for this role?”

“Are there other benefits (car*, bonus, insurance, additional leave)?”

*Check the protocols around usage.

All going well, move on to the next set of questions from your RAT.

So take control by investing some time up front and completing:

1.  Your Personal and Career Values, Drivers and Motivators.

Get 12 months access to CareerCENTRE here

2.  Your personalised Role Attribute Template (RAT) – All key criteria populated and ‘weighted’.

The Role Attribute Template is included free of charge when you purchase CareerCENTRE from

Click Here to Purchase

Step Three: You’re now ready to reduce job search stress!

About Craig McAlpine:

Craig McAlpine Career Coach

Craig McAlpine
Career Coach

Craig McAlpine is a Career Coach, mentoring and coaching clients internationally.

Based in New Zealand, Craig founded in July 2011.  The focus is on enabling clients to understand their key drivers and motivators, and to be more effective at selling their talent value proposition to prospective employers.

Craig has now founded which provides global career coaching services, with clients in multiple countries.

For further details and assistance you can visit

Visit for more helpful tips on winning interviews

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Secure Craig as your Career Coach or ask for more information by filling in the form below:


Contact: Phone: +64 21 666 807, +64 9 5222802 e-mail: Craig McAlpine's Linked In profile: MISSION Working with Job Search Candidates to build their go-to-market strategy, develop powerful marketing collateral such as their CV, LinkedIn profile and social media presence, and ultimately to secure a new role that is not only rewarding but also assists them on their career journey. EXPERTISE Career Coaching - LinkedIn Training - LinkedIn Optimisation - Personal Branding - Job Hunt: Go to Market Strategy and Collateral - CV design and preparation - Interview skills INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE - Professional Services - Information Technology - Banking and Finance - Recruitment

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4 comments on “Reduce the Emotional Stress and Time Involved in Your Job Search
  1. Bridget Marsh says:

    Great post Craig. Love the concept of an opportunity bucket.


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