Published on 1st August 2016
I recently met a candidate who was despairing about ever finding the ‘right’ job. Having been rejected from several companies they had applied to, they asked me; “How will I ever manage to land a job that’s truly right for me?”
This is a question many people will relate to at some point in their lives. After all, your career is something to call your own. It is the product of your work ethic, determination, goals and aims for the future. Often your goals and motivations will change over time and as a result, many people often find themselves stuck in a role that no longer meets their needs.
So how should you go about finding the ‘right’ job for you?
1. Look at what you have got
Take stock of your current job. What do you actually do? What are your responsibilities and challenges and is this what you want to do or be? What skills are you using, and what industries, people, or products are you working with?
Then identify where the gaps lie between what you currently do and what you want to do. Can you get these things from your current company?
There is evidence that the majority of people leave jobs for career progression, when ironically most companies will be willing to replace you with the very position or salary you were actually seeking. What you want might already be where you are and if so, then explore the opportunity with your peers, mentor and manager and see if you can get that promotion internally.
Luck happens to those who work hard and look out for the opportunities, which you can argue isn’t really luck at all.
2. Explore and network
Landing the perfect job suggests you know what the perfect job looks like. Many of us have certain ambitions or ideas of jobs we would like to do but don’t necessarily know the ins and outs of the role, or steps we need to take to get there.
If you are looking to change a career route or sector, it is especially important to know what exactly you are looking for and how to get there. Do you need any specific skills, qualifications or training? Do your research, look at websites, curriculums, job descriptions and blogs. The information is out there in abundance, you just have to find it.
Speaking to the right people; a peer, a family member, a manager (not always your own), friend or trusted recruiter can also be invaluable. The wider you open your horizons and the more you ask questions, the more insight you will get into different careers and different firms, and this can open all sorts of doors. 60% of jobs are filled by referrals! Access your network.
3. Be prepared
Brush off the cobwebs from your CV and get writing. Your CV is your best tool to get noticed in the first instance. Write down your experience and responsibilities. Identify your achievements. Get a good recruitment consultant behind you, as they will be able to provide advice on how to make your CV as strong as possible. Get that LinkedIn profile up to date and make sure your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profiles are set to private.
Got an interview? Then prepare even more. Make sure you set aside time and really commit to knowing your experiences and achievements and being able to talk effectively about them. Learn as much as you can about the company and do your research. Practice with a friend, peer or agent. Prepare your outfit and also your route. Practice your questions and be ready to answer anything.
4. Perseverance is key
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise, rarely do you get or want the first job that comes your way. Getting an offer and selecting a role is a delicate balance between accepting what you get and being selective. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get traction straight away, because the next time you interview it could be that perfect role and you have to give it all of you have got. Trust me, it’s worth it in the end.