Career Change - how to get the job you really want!

By: Steve Oldroyd

So you want to find another job?

Well, the most important piece of advice (strangely enough) that we can give is don’t quit the old one just yet! Frying pans and fires often come to mind when we hear stories of people jumping at the first job opportunity that comes along, only to be disappointed a few weeks or months down the line when they discover that their new position really isn’t what it was cracked up to be.

There are no shortcuts to finding the job of your dreams – of course, you may strike lucky very quickly, but it can sometimes take a little while to find a position that ticks all the boxes, maybe even a few cases of turning down job offers if they don’t feel right. Clarity is probably key to the whole process of changing job. You may be very clear in your decision to move on, but knowing what you want to move on to requires some careful thinking.

Look at where you’re at right now

Analyse your current position and think about how it does and doesn’t fulfill your needs or expectations. Based on that, how would your ideal job compare? Creating a set of criteria – which you can make work harder by scoring each point – establishes a benchmark against which you will be able to weigh up prospective jobs, and gives you something more tangible on which to make a considered decision. If the new job scores higher than your existing job, the signs are pretty good – if they’re lower, you need to think carefully about whether it’s the right move for you and, if not, look elsewhere.

What don’t you want to do?

If you hate your job, it will be an easy exercise to identify all those things that are unsatisfying. But, to make it useful in your job search, think about whether some things would be tolerable in a different situation. This doesn’t mean you should be happy to accept a job on that basis, but it will help you have a more balanced view in the event that you see similarities with your current role.

Take a targeted approach

It’s very common to decide to look for a new job and start sending out a CV that is essentially saying ‘here I am, I’m available’. More persuasive, however, would be a more considered message of ‘I am great at doing XYZ and employing me will make a difference because…’. Know what you want and why – in an interview situation you will come across as a much more compelling prospect than others who are very generic in their approach.

Finding a specialist recruitment agency will further advance your opportunity to really pinpoint the type of role you want – and has the potential to open some interesting doors.

Research your new role

Find out as much as possible about the job and the company. You need plenty of information in order to make a proper judgement. What’s the company culture like? Will you have the level of responsibility you want? What kind of objectives and targets will you be given? Will you be able to utilise all your skills?

Remember, big changes aren’t always the best, even small changes can have a big impact. Career change isn’t necessarily about trying to make a massive leap up the ladder, a slight shuffle in a different direction can sometimes be far more satisfying and fulfilling – the secret is taking the time to identify which is the right direction.

Talk to our specialist consultants who know each market sector and the major employers and who can help with identifying the best next step or career change move for you.

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