Keeping on with our work-related theme, we’re going to touch on some of the things you can do to help you change your job.
Last time we mentioned the following key things you can do to make this sometimes challenging step possible:
- Identify and own your competency areas
- Tune up your CV
- Study the job description with a fine tooth comb, and
- Get comfortable talking about what you have to offer
We’re going to build on that this time by focusing on four ways you can go about looking for potential jobs or opportunities (job search).
For most of the people I work with, who either want to change their job or are forced to by circumstance such as a redundancy, one of the first actions they take is to get onto one of the big job search websites such as Seek.co.nz, Trademe jobs or LinkedIn. This is a great place to start! Compare how things were in the olden days (not even that long ago) when you had to wait for the Saturday paper with the careers section to come around. Now, you can do some job search anywhere, anytime as long as you have internet connection.
Bear in mind that these three job search boards are only the tip of the iceberg and depending on what field you’re in and where you love, you’ll find all manner of websites you can check out to see what they have available. This is where Google is your friend. Type in industry or role related words and your location and see what comes up. Last night I googled “construction jobs Christchurch” and the search yielded page after page of results.
A piece of advice I give all my clients is to be disciplined about this process. Dip into a website to see whether it looks like it might have jobs to suit you and then duck out quickly if not – otherwise you’re at risk of wasting days of your life trawling through irrelevant websites.
A significant percentage of my clients find new roles through working with recruiters, so if finding a job quickly is important to you, then I suggest letting other people help you do it! You can also use Google to help you find recruitment consultants in your location that might have opportunities in your chosen industry or job role. They’ll also likely have details of jobs available to look at on their website, but sometimes they might have other opportunities and relationships they can leverage that might not always be apparent at first glance.
Again, the key word here is relevance. If you want a job in construction, say, and you stumble across a recruitment website that appears to be all medically-based, it’s probably not likely to have roles that suit you, so move onto to more promising pastures quickly.
I usually suggest cultivating a relationship with several recruiters. Find out what type of work they offer and the types of people they place. It can be so worthwhile taking the time to develop a strong ongoing relationship with some key recruiters. After all, this is how headhunting happens – when you’re approached for a role without even actively job-searching. Indeed I coached someone recently who was made redundant from one role that finished on a Friday and she started work in a new one on the Monday, all because she was top of mind with a particular recruiter and kept herself on the recruiters books “just in case.”
I’m sure that for many people the very word “networking” conjures up images of cringe-worthy, forced social gatherings, but networking doesn’t have to be that way! Regardless of the type of work you do or job you’re in, you’ll have formal and informal networks, some of which are work-related and some which are personal.
It can be incredibly helpful to reach out to your networks to let them know that you’re “open for business.” You might have customers and suppliers you’ve worked with who may know someone who knows someone who might have a possible opportunity that could suit you. It’s amazing how many people find their next job this way. In every job search workshop I’ve ever run, everyone in those groups has either found work themselves this way or know someone who has. I also have found work this way.
The strength of your network and reputation can also explain why many people have changed jobs without ever having to put together a CV or having had formal interviews. This is particularly true in some industries, like construction, for example, where a person’s tangible results speak for themselves.
One tip I have around networking is to be mindful of people’s precious time and be grateful and appreciative of the help they give in putting in a good word for you. Keep people appraised of your situation and show appreciation, particularly to anyone who agrees to be a referee. This basic courtesy can go along way. Simple, important and often overlooked.
Approach organisations directly
Approached carefully and with appropriate preparation, this can be one of the most effective job search strategies. Getting clear about what you can offer an organisation and finding a confident and effective way to communicate that, can yield great results. This requires research to find out about the organisation, their products and services, the types of roles they have and people they are likely to employ and then crafting your approach to match this. Of course they may not have anything to available in that moment, however a significant percentage of jobs are filled without being advertised – it might be your lucky day.
Yes it takes proactive effort and a degree of confidence, but it can on occasion help you land the perfect role.
If you’re taking a lot of action to put yourself out there, trying to create opportunity and applying for jobs, things can get quite complicated. It’s easy for things to get out of hand if you’re not on top of them and you can forget key information and timelines.
Keep tabs on your search. Make a spreadsheet or get a big piece of paper and document who you spoke to, the roles you’re applying for, key dates and people in the process.
Next time we’ll talk about another of the key steps to change jobs – interviews.