On a winter’s morning, I was a solitary figure watching the waves wash away the footprints of beachgoers before me. It made me reflect on my current life and where I’ve come from. For many years I held a senior HR role in the health industry and decided it was time for a change, but it had been a long time since I’d actively undertaken job search. I knew it was a whole new world, so I completed some professional job search skills training. And to this day, armed with those skills, I have not looked back.
Whether finding a new job is a decision you make for yourself, or one that is forced upon you through circumstance, change is inevitable.
Gone are the days of reading the ‘Want Ads’ in the paper, of more jobs than there are people to fill them. No, today’s job search is an entirely different kettle of fish.
So, here are my tips for an effective and fruitful job search, learned through Life Lessons, and rounded out with that professional career transition/ job search skills training I sought out all those years ago:
1. Have a plan
- Detail what you’re looking for and how you’re going to get it
- Mark out time in your diary and stick to it. Effective job search is said to be a full-time job in itself (albeit unpaid!)
- Have strategies in place to plan and capture your activities for easy reference (an Excel spread sheet will work wonders!)
- Define your skill set. This will help put both clarity and rigour around your search regardless of your intentions to either continue or diversify your career path
- Have strategies in place to keep you focused capitalising on your determination and;
- Define up front what success looks like for you in your job search. Be clear with yourself first, and this will feed directly into how you approach your plan.
2. Understand there are feelings involved
- Now is the time to reach out to those who can offer you support through the transition. This means both professionally and personally – mentors, friends and family. Making sure you have someone to talk to can help you understand the feelings around change, while giving you some perspective to step through it is invaluable.
3. Understand the new recruitment landscape
- 70% of jobs go unadvertised – how can you tap into this through your online and offline networks? Having a strategy in your overall plan to make the new recruitment process work for you is an imperative
- Make sure your social media presence is job search ready – this means more than your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your privacy settings are tight on your personal social media channels and/ or remove any material that might compromise your professionalism. More and more managers and recruiters are using social media to pre-screen candidates, so keep this in mind when posting photos or about your (mis) adventures.
This is the beginning of a good job search strategy. These three key areas will set you on your way to securing your next position and help set you apart from the crowd. The rest is up to you!
They say that a change is as good as a holiday and while at the time I talked about at the beginning of this post I would have preferred to be dipping my toes into the warm ocean in some tropical country, the change in my work was just what I needed.
I learned that those who need to career transition require a lot of things to not only help them on their way, but ensure future success.
I now find myself in the position of helping others with their own career transitions with the same colleague that gave me an opportunity so many years ago.
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