New job – stop thinking, start doing

How do you know you need a new job? Do you dread going in to work every day? Do you feel low on energy and unenthusiastic about the work you have to do and completing even the smallest of tasks feels like walking through treacle? Do you consistently talk about looking for a new role but never actually do anything about it?

If you do, it’s probably time you looked for a new challenge! Whether you want an internal promotion or a new job in a new company, deciding you want another new job and securing one can be pretty far apart, so what’s the best way to get started?

Brainstorm your new job ideas

All the ideas are probably flying around in your head but even if you aren’t ready to do anything about them, start by capturing your thoughts on paper or in your phone.  The act of simply writing them down can help you beat procrastination.

Start off by doing this in an unfiltered way without barriers. No idea is a bad idea, just imagine anything is possible and write down what you think of.  Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do I want to be doing in two years’ time?
  • What do I most enjoy?
  • What are my motivations?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What am I good at?
  • What are my options?
  • What could I do?

Slimming down your career move options

Once you have your ideas then you can then start to prioritise, do a reality check, and think about the factors that may influence your choices.  You need to decide your priorities for your job search.

Write down all the factors including your preferences.  This could be the location, the size of company, the working hours, your need for flexible working, the work environment or the culture and then rank these in priority order. Doing this helps you to narrow down your search criteria and get greater clarity on what really matters to you and helps you to define a realistic and achievable goal for your next step.

I’ve written before about how to find a role with a company that shares your values. This is an important factor in finding an organisation that you can feel happy working for.

Applying this reality check can really help you see your situation through your own unique lens, relevant to your situation. It can stop your mind running away with unrealistic dreams and avoid judging yourself against others who may have very different motivations, needs and realities.

Once you have that list you will feel more confident about what you are looking for, be better able to search for the right type of job, and to let recruitment agencies or your network know what you’re looking for

Benchmarking the new job market

Well done, you’ve got ideas, you’ve worked through the options and now have clarity on your goal. Now you need to see what’s out there in the market to look at the types of jobs available, the locations and the salary to see if they fit with what you are looking for. Look online, talk to recruiters and your professional network to assess the job market. If you’re looking for a job in a new company, set up job alerts on some key sites – there are hundreds of job boards but I recommend Indeed, LinkedIn and Reed to get you started. If you want to stay in the same company, your intranet might also have a way to set up job alerts.

Carefully read the job descriptions and the lists of required and desired skills to see how you shape up. Do you have any gaps in knowledge, skills or experience that need filling in order to make your move? Research shows that men will apply for a job if they have 60% of the required skills, whereas women feel they need 100% to apply. I encourage people to apply for roles where they don’t have all of the skills, but most of them, and a plan or explanation about how they will acquire the remainder.

Career move – putting yourself in pole position

Before you start applying for jobs you need to polish up your online presence, and that probably means LinkedIn as it’s likely to be the first place a potential employer looks for information about you.

Make sure it is up to date with a recent photo and accurate information and while you’re at it, set your LinkedIn profile to “open to opportunities” so that employers or recruiters can contact you directly (don’t worry, this status won’t be visible to everyone or to your employer if they recruit via LinkedIn). LinkedIn research suggests that 90% of people set their status to open to opportunities long before actively applying for jobs.

If you’re worried about suddenly starting to use LinkedIn and that being a red flag for your employer that you’re looking for a job, take a look at the advice I gave on that topic here.

What is important is to review your profile in the light of the job you’ve decided to look for, connecting with colleagues and other contacts who might be able to help you, and making an effort to share some useful industry insight so people see you as knowledgeable.

You might also want to read my blog about how to create and sustain a personal brand. This is not just about a LinkedIn profile, but thinking about what you want to be known for, and then always acting in a way which will help people remember you for it.

Finally, some organisations still ask for a CV when applying for a job, plan and take some time to update this document so it showcases your offer. Focus on your achievements and the impact you have made in your role (gathering examples for future interview answers as you go!)

If you’re looking to change organisations you might also want to register with a few choice recruitment agencies. Research the ones which specialise in the area you are looking for a role in and be specific with them about what kind of job you’re looking for so they can refine the opportunities they send your way.

Sharing your new job ambition with your network

Talk to your family, friends, work colleagues and professional network about your objective for your next career move.  Have a few discrete conversations with people you trust to let people know exactly what you are looking for and get their help with your job search and accessing the hidden jobs market.  Many people will genuinely want to support you and could maybe help with introductions to people and or companies.

If you are looking to move internally within your organisation, talk to your current manager about your career aspirations and interest in progressing within the company. As long as you have the right type of manager they should be able to offer support, cheerleading and practical ways to find a new role. They might even have heard about just the thing and can put your name in the frame for it.

Just remember whether you want to leave for something new or make a change within your current   organisation, your perfect job isn’t looking for you, so you have to put in some work to find it, put yourself forward and market yourself so you are considered

The secret of getting ahead is getting started…

…or so Mark Twain said, so now’s the time to just get going!

By simply getting started, just doing one thing to get the ball rolling can often then trigger some momentum and action.

What next?

Finding the perfect next job isn’t usually an easy or quick process. It takes passion and perseverance, something psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth describes as grit. You’ll need to be realistic about the amount of time it will take to find a great job – as opposed to any job – and hang on in there. Experience tells me though, that following these recommendations does give you a better chance of finding that dream job eventually.

If you want help to polish your CV or to prepare for a job interview, give me a call to find out how I have supported hundreds of people to land their dream job. I offer a free chemistry session for all new clients to check we can work together, and having supported in-house and agency recruitment teams I know just what the people on the other side of the table are looking for!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.