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New Year – Time for a New Job?

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With the New Year upon us and most of us still in the midst of our summer break enjoying the beach, BBQs and the fabulous weather; the thought of returning to work may be alarming for some.  If that sounds like you then maybe it’s time to reassess whether or not you’re in the right job or indeed the right organisation. The New Year can be a great time to re-evaluate your goals, both personally and professionally but as we all know New Year resolutions are often abandoned by February.  So if your goal is to get a new job you’ll need to be sure you have a plan in place to make it a reality.  

 

Don’t be too hasty

Before you march into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation, think through whether changing jobs is really going to make life better.  2013 has been a tough year with wide spread redundancies and many people working harder as a result to cover the work of those who have left.  That can be unsettling and stressful and while you might think a new job will solve the issue, that may not necessarily be the case.  Think about why it is you really want to leave and ask yourself what action, if any, you could take to make things better where you are before you make the leap.  

 

article-know-what-you-wantKnow what you want

If after you’ve considered your reasons you’re still sure it’s time to move on then great.  But before you embark on your job search it is important to get some clarity on what it is you actually want.  Otherwise you are more than likely to jump ship into a job that may not be the one you were hoping for.  The summer break can be great time to define your purpose and build a clear vision of your future career that will motivate and energise you to focus on achieving your goal more effectively.
Knowing what you want from a job and what you want to achieve will assist you to focus on your job search and stop you from applying for jobs that are ultimately unsuitable for you.  Be realistic.  It might be that you have a bigger career goal in mind but you’re not quite ready to take that step yet.  Think about what would be the right step now to help you get there.

 

Identify the gaps

So you’ve given some thought to what your dream job looks like, now it’s time to assess how your current skills and experience stack up.  Where are the gaps, if any, and what steps could you take to overcome them.  Do you need to upgrade your skills, do a course, take on some additional projects at work to increase your experience in a particular area?  Having a clear idea of areas for development will help to provide focus for your job search.

 

Give your CV a spring clean

With CVs there is no “one size fits all” approach.  It is critical that you spend time reviewing your existing CV to align it more closely to the types of roles you will be applying for.  Be as succinct and specific as you possibly can while still ensuring that you cover the key points.  Your CV needs to demonstrate clearly why you are the best person for the role you are applying for so make sure you talk about your main achievements.  So with that in mind it is essential you adapt it for each role you are applying for to ensure it fits the requirements closely.  

 

Don’t limit your thinking

Your job search strategy will be crucial to your success.  Relying on job boards alone is not necessarily going to get you the results you want as you’ll be competing with a much larger pool of candidates.  Consider what other options you have.  Who do you know that could assist you, how can you utilise LinkedIn to leverage job opportunities, who are the recruiters who specialise in your area of expertise, what companies are you interested in working for and how could you connect with people who already work there?  Putting together a clear strategy for how you will tackle the job search will be invaluable.

 

Hone your Interview Skills

Preparation is the key to a successful interview.  Sounds obvious but surprising how many people just jump in without thinking it through.  Winging it doesn’t always pay off!  Do your research on the company and make sure you’ve read the job ad or position description carefully to make sure you fully understand what they are looking for.  Once you’ve done that, think through how your experience and skills match what the company is looking for and be prepared to back it up with specific examples.

 

Managing Setbacks

Things don’t always go to plan and while you might think you are the best person for the job, the truth is that you don’t know who else is in consideration.  It could be that while you were close, someone else might have had the edge in terms of a specific skill or experience.  The key thing is not to let the knockbacks get you down.  You’ll need to keep the motivation levels up after rejections and persevere.  Employers are looking for people who are motivated so it is vital that you uphold an image of enthusiasm and motivation even when things aren’t going smoothly.   There are certain things you have no control over in the selection process so try not to worry about them.  Instead track your success along the way and manage the things you can control like having a great CV, perfecting your interview skills and being proactive and clearly understanding and being able to articulate what you have to offer a prospective employer.  

There will be disappointment along the way but keep it in perspective and know that there will be other opportunities for you out there.  It’s only a matter of time.

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