If you’re in the market for a new job, the most important thing you might do is vote. No, not that thing you do when you participate in democracy (which is also very important), but the V-O-T-E method. This four part process – which includes identifying Victory, Other, Tactics and Expectations – has actually been used for years by actors as they prepare their roles for the stage. Surprisingly, this tried and true method for thespians can actually have a positive impact on your job search!

Here’s how to vote your way to your next career opportunity:

To employ the v-o-t-e method for job search prep, start with a blank piece of paper. Then, write out the four sections – victory, other, tactics and expectations – with enough room under each to write in details.


The “V” here stands for victory. In this case, your victory is your goal; what is the outcome you’re looking to achieve? Sure, you want to be hired by an employer, but this is the job seeker’s opportunity to really self reflect. What type of role are you looking for? Do you have other goals, such as ideal salary, benefits and other considerations? Start every application off right by clearly defining what you’re looking to achieve or, to borrow a phrase, what you would define as a “victory”.


In this section, it’s time to shift your focus to the “other” in the equation. For job seekers, this could mean the other person in the room – your interviewer! Is there going to be one person doing the interviewing, or will it be a panel? Do you know how many steps there are to the interview process? Have you prepared questions to ask at every stage? Finding a new job can be a very self reflective process, but paying attention to the people you interact with at every level can make a big difference. Not only will you be better prepared for what’s ahead, but the attention to detail will be appreciated by the team looking to hire their newest teammate.


Now that you’ve defined your goals and identified the people that will be involved in the process, it’s time to dig in on how to get there. Which application pieces do you need to complete in order to have success? Do you have a plan for preparing answers to potential interview questions, as well as practicing those responses out loud? What other elements, such as thank you cards, will you keep in mind in order to set yourself apart? Each opportunity might require a different mix of tactics, so be sure to clearly define what’s needed before each.


Finally, it’s time to spend some time setting your expectations. In the big picture of your career, where does this job opportunity fit? Are you interviewing for your dream job, or is the first stepping stone along a bigger path? What’s your plan of attack for moving forward if this one doesn’t pan out? The job search can be a difficult and lengthy process, so setting expectations and participating in honest self reflection can go a long way towards avoiding burnout.

Sure, maybe you’ve cast a ballot for your favorite political candidate before, but now’s your chance to vote your way to a new job. By identifying your victory, the others involved, the tactics needed for success and, after setting expectations appropriately, you’ll be better prepared to take the next steps in your career. What do you think of the v-o-t-e method for job search preparation? We’d love to hear your thoughts and other ideas for planning in the comment section below!

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