Time for a change, but you don’t know where to start looking? We’ve all been there. We spend more time at work with our colleagues than we do in our homes with our friends and family, so when you become disenchanted with either your workplace or your teammates (or worst-case scenario, both), having the motivation to get out of bed on a Monday morning can be a real struggle.
For many of us, work can be a source of frustration as it doesn’t always succeed in being a good match with regards to the skills, the people and the results you get. If you do make the decision that you are going to put your time and energy into finding a new job, you first need to identify what it is that motivates you and what will make an impact on you with a prospective new employer.
It isn’t just about finding a new job, but about finding the right job for you- or failing that, at least the job that is a stepping stone to getting you to exactly where you want to be.
There are several things you should consider asking yourself when deciding what type of work would suit you, such as:
- What is it/ was it that you did not like about your last role? Was it the job role itself, the organisation/ company, the sector you were working in, your team or your manager?
- What type of management style do you think you work best under? Think about any mentors that you have had and which you responded the best to.
- When learning new things, what have you most enjoyed learning about? Whether this was an academic course at school or university, internal training you went through at work, or something you have learnt in your own time for leisure?
- If you have looked on job boards or company websites, which advertised jobs have already peaked your interest?
- Out of all the jobs you have had in the past, which one did you most enjoy doing and why?
- If salary was not something that needed to be considered, what work would you choose to do?
- If you could spend a day trying out somebody else’s job, which job would you choose to do?
- Think back to a time that you had a really good day at work. What was it about this day that made you feel positive?
Once you have taken some time to think through these points, you should be able to start forming a clear idea about the type of role you would most like to move into next, as well as the type of company you would really enjoy working for.
Following this, these are some practical steps that you can take to help you ascertain which types of work you would be best suited to:
- Analyse your skills. Think hard about your skillset, particularly any that you have acquired outside of work. Think about what you do well and which of these skills you really enjoy using at work. Make sure that you’ve got lots of current, up-to-date evidence of your skills development, your learning and any other voluntary activities.
- Think about what your ‘Top 10’ would be. Take some time come up with your own personal ‘wish list’ of the key elements in your ideal role. Consider things like the type of people that you enjoy working with, the company’s working style and the results that you would like to achieve. Then add your personal values into the equation- what services or products are important to you? You should then look for roles which match up to at least 6 points out of the 10 in your criteria.
- Focus on the elements of the job. Do not only refer to jobs by their titles, but ask for certain elements, like “I am looking for a job that requires this knowledge, needs these skills and will have this working style”. Give recruiters the chance to come up with their own creative suggestions, rather than just waiting for them to respond to your stated job titles with others that are similar.
- Think about your experience. Think about what you have found stimulating in the past, whether that be in work, in study or leisure, and try to translate this to the working world by asking about what people actually do. Very few people will discover their perfect job through career tests. What is usually needed is a new way that ideas and past experience can be combined.
- Do your research. This is something you will be told at every point of the job-search process. Here it refers to not simply relying on second-hand information and instead finding things out for yourself. Take a few job ideas and try and find yourself some opportunities to speak with people who are doing these roles. This way you will gain first-hand knowledge of what the job is really like.
- Keep an open mind. Don’t look for reasons to say “no” to jobs too quickly. Make sure that you explore all of your options thoroughly and try not to be too discouraged by minor setbacks. When you feel like giving up on your goals, speak to a close friend or family member and have them challenge you about the decision.
- Learn how to present yourself. As you begin to really reach the root of what your ideal job is, think about how you can present what you do and who you are in focused statements. Be prepared to have to summarise your knowledge and skills quickly and how both these and you could benefit an organisation.
The idea of looking for a new job is always a bit of a scary one, particularly if you are looking for a complete change. The comfort zone is named as such for a reason, and it is a big decision to choose to get out of it, one that you should feel proud of yourself just for making. You should always keep challenging yourself to develop and grow at work by trying new things and if you have done this as much as you can in your current role, it is definitely time to consider looking for a new opportunity. Everyone deserves to love what they do!
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