New Year, New Job?
Everyone I seem to talk to at the moment is considering a new job and are asking me for advice and ideas on how they should go about it.
The old adage that finding a new job is a job in itself is often true, but there are ways to make it more efficient and effective.
So if you are one of the many people whose new year’s resolution is to secure that next role then here’s some top tips on what you need to be doing:
Top tips on getting a new senior level job:
1. What is it you want, where do you want to be?
If you don’t know this you can’t focus on the right things. So STOP and spend a bit of time working this out.
Your stimulus might be that you’re feeling a little stale, you’re needing a fresh challenge or you’re aspiring to succeed in your next career step. But what does that actually look like?
What sort of environment does it need to be to play to your strengths, appeal to your values and as much as anything provide the thing that feeds your soul?
The start of a new year (and indeed a decade!) can be a good time to do this as you’re often more refreshed and more honest. Your mind is less congested with the onslaught of work-related distractions. Make this a priority; and take your time to work this out. It will save a lot of time later on and guide you better when seeking out the opportunities that will be the right fit. It will help also help you work out what roles (and organisations) aren’t what you’re looking for.
2. Yes, sort out your CV but sort out your public profile too!
I’m sure you’ve had lots of advice on your CV but I’ll tell you one major thing you need to do – focus on highlighting your achievements. That’s the thing that sets you apart and illustrates the impact you’ve had.
Actually there is one other thing, if you want to include a short profile at the top, make it count. Don’t tell me you’re an ‘innovative and inspirational strategic leader with exceptional communication skills’ – anyone can say that.
I want to see how this is demonstrated in your achievements so save that for there. A better way to use your profile is to focus on your values, what inspires you, what drives you and where do you thrive? With a lot of organisations recruiting against values, as well as competencies, show someone what drives you and what you stand for. That’s far more authentic than all those leadership clichés.
Next look at what’s going on with your LinkedIn/social media profile. Is it congruous with your CV and your experience? Does it highlight how you want to present yourself, your whole self or is it vanilla? Take a good hard look, get someone else to read through and offer you some honest critique on it. This is where a lot of recruiters and employers will look to gather more insight into you. You need to make sure it shows all of you and is geared towards where you want to be next.
This is important. And you often don’t know who you know until you think about it. Take some time to sit down and map out your network. Then use you network wisely and it may need to be discreet if you’re already in a job and you need to keep your job search on the q.t.
But this is a vital strand in your job search. It’s also something that you need to keep investing in to alert people to the fact you’re looking and tell them what you want to do.
They can also advocate for you, flag up things you might have missed, lead you to opportunities and also generally keep you motivated and supported during the highs and lows of the job search. With an estimated 50-80% of jobs not advertised it also gives you access to this ‘hidden’ job market.
4. Take care of yourself
As I said finding a new job is a job in itself. It can be stressful, so make sure you’re finding the time to look after yourself as sometimes you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Work out how you’re going to take a break from it, and do the things that can re-balance you.
Whether its sweating it out in the gym, getting zen in your yoga class or hiking through the hills. This can be restorative and ensure you maintain your energy and confidence levels when you get into the reality of interviews.
5. Be prepared for knockbacks
It’s inevitable there will be some frustration and knockbacks along the way so be prepared for this.
Don’t take it personally, use it to your advantage and move on. Seek feedback where possible; learn from this and reset as a result. It may be that you need to make some adjustments to your CV or hone your interview skills. In some cases it might mean you need to change direction and adapt your job hunting strategy. Sometimes you might meet all the requirements of role but its just not the right culture or environment for you.
Also understand that you’re not alone.
More people get turned down for jobs than secure them so its normal. However, if you’ve done some of the above and prepared, thought carefully and are directing your activity in the right way, learning from feedback and taking care of yourself, you will ultimately find the job that suits you best.
If you would like to talk to me or one of my team about your next steps please get in touch.
You can also check out our jobs page for our current senior leadership roles.
About Philippa Fabry:
Philippa has 17 years recruitment experience and has considerable experience recruiting Chief Executives and Executives for a wide range of charities, Students’ Unions, FE organisations and membership bodies. Read more.