Create your own future now

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As the silly season kicks in, we can see the finish line to sign off on another year! With a new year approaching, resolutions are often made with a common one being making a job or career change. If you’re looking to boost your career prospects in the new year, it’s important to create some time to reflect on what you’re looking for. But rather than wait until the new year to take action, consider setting the wheels in motion now to start your new year with a bang!

Here are some things to consider before commencing your search:

  • Know what you want: Before you dive deep into applying for jobs, it’s important to reflect on what it is that you’re looking for. Understand your internal motivators and what gives you the sense of drive and purpose to get out of bed every morning. If you’re not getting this in your current role, you need to be able to reflect and articulate what it is that will give you the spring in your step. For some, this is taking the next step “up” in the career or gaining a promotion, for others, this may simply mean doing a similar role to your current one, but working for an organisation where your own personal values are more closely aligned with the company’s values.
  • Don’t delay: In today’s market with significant skill shortages, companies will be and are accommodating to what candidates want. Don’t delay the next perfect opportunity for you simply because you’ve got your summer holidays locked in and don’t want to miss out. If you’re the preferred candidate, your potential employer will work with you to make sure they can accommodate your plans and both parties are happy.
  • Be socially ready: It’s important to review your online personal brand (both social and professional) on all social platforms. If you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it contains accurate and current information about your current skills and experience. More and more companies are turning to LinkedIn to source potential hires so use the platform to network and make connections. Be sure to follow companies of interest to you to gain greater insight into their business.
  • Leverage your contacts: Don’t limit yourself to just the jobs advertised online, use your own network to source opportunities. Think about those people in your corner, your former colleagues, mangers and social connections. Reach out to those who may be able to assist you to achieve your next career step. Whilst they may not have an opportunity to consider you for right now, flagging your interest will keep you top of mind for future roles.
  • Engage a recruiter: If you truly want to tap into all areas of your local market, consider working with a recruiter. Build a relationship with them so they understand your personal motivators and what you are hoping to achieve in your career. Aligning yourself with your recruiter of choice will give you more potential options to consider and widen the net for you. Use their market knowledge to your advantage so they can inform you of opportunities you may not already have access to. This includes companies that may not be actively recruiting, but keen to know of certain skill sets or talent in the market who would be aligned to their business.
  • Dream big: Now is the perfect time to be looking for the role that will give you the career stretch. This could be a role where you may not tick every box on the key selection criteria list, however, you tick most. Many organisations are adapting to skill shortages and focussing on candidates who have some relevant experience, but also have the aptitude to learn, are coachable and whose values align with theirs. After all, if you could walk in day one of a new role and be able to master it, where would the challenge be?
  • Be grateful, but not overawed: For many, to receive an offer of employment is very flattering and instinct can kick in to feel grateful and accept. This is the time where you need to circle back and take time to pause and reflect, and make sure the offer you are accepting is going to fill your cup. Ask yourself: “Is this job aligned to the career direction I’m looking to take?”, “Are there future career opportunities?”, “Am I aligned to the values of the organisation?” If you can answer yes to these questions (and any more that you may have), “Congratulations!”. If it’s not right for you, stay strong and hold firm for what you are seeking. Don’t delay creating the future you want, seize the day and make it happen!
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