It is important to resolve the issue of references at the start of your job search so that it will not cause undue anxiety. Typically, your former employers and associates will not intend to say anything particularly negative however, you want them to confirm positive achievements in your past roles which support your career and job search goals.
You’ve come to the realisation that you’re over your current job! Be it a lack of advancement, unhappiness with the company or simply unmotivated by the work, it’s time to face the reality that continuing in the role is not beneficial for you as well as your employer. Many struggle to get to this point, fearing change and insecurity with the unknown and therefore holding on to something that’s not productive. But having got here, what now?
A lot of people who are looking for a new role or a career change often have difficulty in figuring out what they want for their next role. After all, you don’t want something similar to your current role because you know it’s a matter of time before the work starts to become the familiar demotivating situation you’re currently facing. Here’s a quick exercise that’s worth considering to ensure you have a fair idea about that next step.
Write Your Own Advertisement
Writing your own job advertisement can assist you in clarifying what is most important to you in your next role. This format is not dissimilar to the one employers use to formulate their advertisements.
List your own criteria for the job of your choice:
- Salary not below $
- Workplace safety
Highly Desirable Criteria:
- Promotion opportunities
Wouldn’t it be nice:
- Located 15 minutes from home
Knowing and listing these criteria will help you choose and prioritise the roles that you come across in your job search. For many people, focusing on what you truly want is no easy task. It may require a lot of thought and some soul searching. Nonetheless, it’s very important in your career transition, so give it the time it deserves.
Some may think that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a marketing gimmick, but many go all out in celebrating the day, arguably with over-the-top romantic gestures, dinner engagements, gifts and the like. No matter how you feel about it, it’s hard to dispute the similarities a date on Valentine’s Day has to a job interview. Much like a romantic date, attending a job interview requires the right mix of making a good first impression, dressing to impress and selling yourself appropriately. While you’re likely to receive gifts such as chocolates, flowers and sentimental cards on Valentine’s day, if you’re currently in the job market here’s a gift of some interview tips that can come in handy.
Three things you can learn from Valentine’s Day to apply to your next interview.
- Proper planning
When trying to woo that special someone, you’ll very likely put in a fair bit of effort to planning the day or evening, be it finding the perfect restaurant, gift or entertainment experience. Make the same kind of effort to your job interview by learning as much as you can about the prospective organisation, the interviewer, the job description and trends in the industry. Doing so will enable you to build a rapport with your interviewer and show your level of commitment to the role and organisation.
- Dress sense
No matter who you are, anyone who is looking to make an impression will ensure they’re dressed for success. It’s highly unlikely that old jeans and a hacked t-shirt will do if you’ve already made plans to go out to a lavish restaurant. You’ll need to dress to match the occasion. Similarly, it’s important to make the same effort for your interview. If you’re ever in any doubt about your attire for your interview, chances are you’re under-dressed. Remember it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed!
- Following up
If you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day with that special someone and would like to see them again, you would send them a text message or give them a call and say how much you enjoyed their company. Show the same courtesy to your interviewer by sending a short thank you note stating your appreciation for taking the time to meet and your continued interest in the role.
Doing these 3 simple things will ensure you confirm to your prospective employer that you are committed and serious about the opportunity and you’re not just a casual fling!
Employers are looking for people who are self confident, who know what they can do, and who are able to express themselves clearly, in person or in writing. People who know how to dress and act appropriately, people who are good listeners and pay attention to the signals being sent.
While you are looking for a job, it is important to try to meet contacts and potential employers face to face because that is how they form the most accurate impression not only of your skills and abilities, but also your personal qualities.
Body language: You are an open book
In any face to face communications, less than half of the total meaning is conveyed by spoken words. In fact, you’re probably familiar with the following breakdown of face to face communication:
- Words – 7%
- Vocal tone & volume – 38%
- Facial expression & body language -55%
“Non-verbal cues,” such as facial expressions, posture, eye contact, and hand and body movement, carry a lot of information – such as:
- Are you confident?
- Are you interested?
- Are you at ease with others?
- Are you sincere?
- Are you adaptable?
- Are you sensitive to others?
You can easily control some of these cues like posture and eye contact. Others, like your hand gestures or rate of blinking, are a little more difficult to control.
The point is that you should be aware of how you are presenting yourself, and you should strive to present a comfortable, self confident appearance. There’s no point in trying to remake yourself into something you’re not, or act out of character to impress employers.
You should also be aware of the cues other people send you. Because you have been “reading” non-verbal signals since you were a child, your “hunches” about what people are thinking and feeling are likely to be accurate.
Organisational restructures or redundancies is an extremely difficult experience, not just for the individual, but also their family and friends. With the pressures associated with global competition and stakeholder demands, restructures and redundancies have become more common with many people having to go through the process. As unsettling and stressful as a redundancy can be, it should not feel like the end of your career. While a positive attitude is more important that ever at this time, it’s also an opportunity to look at what you want.
Your Job/Career Objective
Perhaps your career to date was one that developed haphazardly, with little or no planning. Now is good time to set a clear objective and develop a sharp focus. It is extremely important to set goals that not only define what you can offer a potential employer, but also realistically spell out what you want and expect – both from your next job and from your career.
A carefully thought out job objective will include information about the function, role or activities that you are interested in and qualified for, the level at which you can perform most effectively, as well as the setting in which you most want to work and would be most comfortable.
Writing a Personal Job Objective Statement
Before you begin constructing your resume, you should write a specific Personal Job Search Objective for your own guidance and motivation. This may take whatever form is most useful for you, as long as it is realistic and builds on your greatest strengths as identified earlier.
Here is an example:
Personal Job Objective Statement
“I want a Financial Accountants position that will draw heavily on my existing finance experience in both reporting as well as taxation and compliance. The role should give me further exposure to US GAAP and multi country reporting.
The ideal position will be with a growing large services or consulting organisation with a formal culture and established teamwork practices. The job will include a range of tasks that will allow my career to eventually move into Commercial Management rather than a Financial Controller position. This position will also allow me to work independently as well as a member of a team.”
IT’S NOT EASY, BUT IT’S VERY IMPORTANT
For many people, focusing on what they truly want is no easy task. It may require a lot of thought and some “soul searching.” Nevertheless, it’s a very important point in your career transition, so give it the time it deserves.