‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’
A common phrase, but wise words all the same, roughly translated as, if you always think the same way about things and never change your thoughts or ideas, you will always end up with the same result.
A truism that could easily apply to many job seekers who fail to recognise the opportunities that exist, especially as we start to come out of lockdown. Having said that, there’s no denying it’s been a tough year for most of us.
From crisis to opportunity
Almost 1.7m unemployed in the UK and another couple of months before we will, hopefully, regain some sort of normality. And yet they do say out of a crisis comes opportunity.
While it’s true that some businesses have certainly scaled back their expansion plans, the combination of government financial support and extensive vaccination programme is enabling increased employment opportunities.
As organisations start to recover and, in some cases, plan for future expansion, we are starting to see an increasing number of vacancies. This means if you were thinking about changing your job or career, now could be a good time to take the plunge.
Where do you start?
Well, the first thing to appreciate is that changing career, or having a change of direction, is actually quite empowering during a crisis. Having to find a new job or choosing to look for new employment encourages us to take a step back and consider what we really want to achieve from our career.
You may also have had some free time over the last few months to consider whether you wish to do the same thing as you have always done, or whether having an open mind might lead to new opportunities and to ‘doing what you love’ or probably more importantly, ‘doing what you are good at’
Is it time for a change of direction?
Instead of thinking about a traditional step up your existing career ladder, what about a change of direction? As the economy starts to open up, so does the jobs market. In fact, now could be just the right time to consider a more strategic approach to your next employment.
Some sectors, such as technology, health care, construction, and distribution, are actively hiring and we continue to see other industries ramping up their employment opportunities.
Admittedly, not all of them may be permanent roles at the moment, but as lockdown eases and we get back to some sort of normality, there is every chance that many temporary positions will be converted to full time roles within a short period of time.
Where do you start on your next journey?
They do say, ‘own what you’re good at’. What this means, is to identify your employment strengths and identify what skills and attributes you have that have enabled you to achieve success so far. Once you have focussed on what ‘makes you’ you can then start to reflect on your future career path.
Speak to a recruiter!
Getting help from a recruitment partner can also help at this stage. We have a team of specialist who can take away many of the time consuming tasks as well as help paint a broader picture of the current jobs market.
Your next move could be a sideways step that embraces your skills and experience, but possibly in a different industry or sector. We have many clients looking for specialist staff.
Could that be you?
There’s probably never been a better time to evaluate employment opportunities. Covid-19 has changed the way we do things, which in some cases, will be irreversible. This means now could be a very good time to consider what you would like to do next.
Take time out to research the jobs market, noting which sectors are surviving, and in some cases thriving in the current pandemic, and then match your abilities to these sectors. For example, recycling and innovation are two key terms for the future.
Could your current skills match this growth market?
Don’t just account for your accredited skills, make sure you identify transferable soft skills, such as good communication, leadership, problem solving, flexibility etc. Once again, if you are unsure how to identify these skills, give us a call.
By identifying your complete skillset now, you are successfully preparing yourself for what will undoubtedly be a different employment environment in the future. Also, if there are skill gaps that could prevent you from achieving your dream job, there are plenty of opportunities to upskill.
Now is also the time to upgrade your CV
Consider what will make you more employable in the future. If certain skills are lacking such as technology, or latest legislation, enrol on online courses, download tutorials, listen to podcasts and tune into video channels.
Also, look at job descriptions to determine the key words you can include in your CV.
Certain hobbies and interests can also have a positive impact on a CV. A practical knowledge and interest in IT would certainly increase the recruiter’s interest, as would sporting achievements.
Playing a sport demonstrates skills that can be transferred to the workplace. These include team building, persistence and problem solving. However, it’s a regular involvement in a recognised sporting activity that will influence the interview, rather than a round of crazy golf at Butlins.
It’s also worth spending time updating and revising your LinkedIn profile. Add new skills and experiences, adjust settings that indicate you are available for work and post articles, blogs, and observations to ensure you keep in front of your networks’ eyes.
Also, ensure you are connecting with secondary links, such as friends, former colleagues, friends of friends, and ex school / college members etc. After 12 months of lockdown, many of them, just like you, will want to connect to the wider business community and could potentially be keen to help you pursue your ‘new’ career.
As we said earlier, have an open mind when looking for new job opportunities. Do your research to identify growth sectors, look at what skills these industries are looking for and see how your skill set and experiences can add value to their Business.
Also, if you are currently working from home or continue to be off work under the government’s furlough scheme, it’s going to be much easier to pick up the phone or connect online than it would be trying to do it at work.
Remote interviews are a thing now!
It’s also worth practicing your remote interviewing technique, as it may be some time before we are able to revert to traditional face to face interviews. Use Zoom or MS Teams to develop both your personal body language and practical video techniques.
Using such technology will also test your fortitude and personality traits such as empathy and patience – all things you will benefit from when it comes to starting your job search.
Our top 10 tips
So, if you are looking for a career change or new job, here’s ten top tips to help you on your way. Don’t forget, you can ask for help from your business network, colleagues, or professional partners such as ourselves, we’re glad to offer any advice or support.
What are the skills and experiences have helped you succeed so far?How would you measure success in your current position?What are your reasons for wanting to change careers?How important is money in your search for that dream job?How realistic are your salary demands?What would make you enjoy your time at work more?Are you allocating time to update your business knowledge?Do you require to update / revise your skills to respond to current and future employment opportunities?How comfortable are you with technology such as video conferencing etc?What’s the one thing that would make you say ‘yes, I accept’ at your job interview?
Finally, with rising unemployment and still some uncertainty, it may look bleak at the moment. However, while larger organisations have certainly reduced their manpower (for the time being at least) there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember, ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. Why not break the mould and speak to our team of recruiters today on 0845 478 5009 or firstname.lastname@example.org?