Welcome to Week 4. This week we take everything you've learned and done so far, and apply it toward getting a job, which is the moment when all the hard work that you've been doing manifests in a real change in your life and a new career direction. The first thing we'll do is give you the keys to a successful job search and explain how to approach the process step-by-step. Then you'll learn how to empathize with hiring managers so you can navigate the job search more skillfully. We'll cover the basics of interviews, resumes, and using sites like LinkedIn. Then finally, you'll learn strategies for making hard choices so when it comes time to choose between options you feel prepared to decide. Remember this is a career design course, so we're not just trying to get you a job, we're trying to get you a coherent job, a job that's a great fit for your career design. We're trying to get you a job doing work that aligns nicely with who you are and what you believe. A job that sets you on a career path to grow and develop as a professional in that space. But before we talk about strategies for getting a job, I want to warn you about the biggest mistake I see career designers make. Do you want to know what it is? The biggest mistake is that they rush the process. Remember that designing your career happens in two phases. First, you create lots of options. You brainstorm and add new ideas to your list, including things you hadn't ever considered. This is where you use divergent thinking. Then we narrow down these options and eventually pick one to try next. This is where you use convergent thinking. By now, you should have spent a lot of time in this first phase creating options. Hopefully by exploring your three paths and conducting research and informational interviews, you're starting to narrow in on a career path you're excited about. One thing I've noticed though is that once you've been in this ideation phase of the process for a while, most people really want to wrap it up. They want to decide on a path or accept the first job offer they get. If you get a great offer and it's just what you were looking for, awesome, go for it. But there's typically a trade-off between how long you spend designing your career and how good your final outcome is. You can see how it works with this graph. Early on your career design work is mostly introspective and more time doesn't immediately increase your chances of getting a job that's a great fit. But after putting in some time, you begin honing in on what you want and you start discovering some really appealing opportunities. Ideally, you want to keep going until you reach this point of diminishing returns where the graph starts to level off and you're not getting a lot of new value from the time you are putting in. I call this point go time, because it indicates that you're ready to go. You're ready to switch your focus from exploration and deciding to making it happen. You're ready to get a job and get started. How will you know when you reach go time? Usually one of two things happens. First, you might start to notice some repetition. Let's say you've done 20 informational interviews and you're really confident about what it would be like to pursue a career you're considering because you've heard similar things now from several people. When this happens, it's probably time to make a choice and go for it. Another way that you'll know that it's go time is if you're already applying for jobs and you get an offer that you're really excited about. When I say really excited, I'm talking at least an eight out of 10, if 10 were the most excited you've ever been, so you should be really excited. The job might not be a perfect fit, but it's a really good fit and you know it's an opportunity that would be meaningful and engaging. This is unlikely to be your first job offer, although it does occasionally happen. Once you realize you're not getting a lot of value from the time you're putting in, whether that's deciding what you want or applying for jobs, don't drag out the process, make a choice and move on. But you also don't want to stop the process prematurely, and this is actually what I see happening more often. We tend to get tired and wish we were further along in the process than we are, and when this happens you'll be tempted to call it good enough and make a choice or take a job. I encourage you not to unless you're pretty sure it's go time and that you know more energy in won't get much better results out. It's also helpful to know that as you approach go time, you'll start transitioning from what I would call career design to job searching. These are two distinct processes but they do overlap. So far in the course, we've focused on career design, which involves building self-awareness, brainstorming ideas, picking three paths to explore, making your five-year plans and raising questions, and researching and prototyping your paths through informational interviews. Career design ends when you pick a career path to pursue next. Once you pick a path, it's time to land your next job, or it could be grad school or starting a business, whatever will be your first milestone on the new path. We'll call this the job search phase and it starts when you begin gathering information through interviews and Internet research. It continues as you make lists of jobs and roles and go for interviews and apply for jobs, and it ends when you eventually accept an offer. Use this distinction to check-in for a moment. Right now, are you still in the career design phase figuring out what you want to do or are you in the job search phase? Within these phases, which steps are you currently focused on? Being conscious of where you are in the process will help you stay on track and focus your efforts on the most important things. We've got a lot to cover this week, so let's take it to the finish line.