It’s that time of year when we look at what’s in store for us career-wise in the New Year. Will it be more of the same or are you going to make a move upwards, sideways within or outside your current workplace? Or do you plan to make a complete U-turn in your career? Goal setting isn’t easy.
The temptation is to look at what some colleagues did and see how they shot up their career ladder. What worked for them may not work for you. Everyone’s needs are very different and what everyone has to offer is also different. So getting a proper clear focus on your career development plan can be tricky.
As things look now the prospects for good opportunities was never better. 2017 has been a good year for employment in this country and 2018 is looking like it will be even better.
Industry is doing well; manufacturing, exports and sales are good, especially in the retail sector with lots of spending going on. So where do you start? You start at the beginning.
If you wish to move upwards within the company where you work, a good starting point would be to make an appointment to see the head of HR. Meet them, remind them of all you have done and tell them how you would like to progress. This is something that few people do. If you don’t tell them, how will they ever know?
In larger companies, you may not be a familiar face to the HR people and when opportunities arise they will look to the ones that make the most noise, the people they know best. So unless your career to date has been a disaster, talk to them so they will remember you when an opportunity arises.
Likewise, if you are on good terms with your immediate ‘boss’ or even the one above, do the same thing. Talk to them and tell them of your ambitions. An excellent and subtle way of doing this is to go to them, explain how you would like to advance and ask them for advice. Not a job but, advice. Strangely this can have a better effect than a straight question. They are complemented by the fact you went to them for advice and they will remember you every bit as well when something comes up.
If on the other hand, you wish to move on and out from your current employers then you are looking at conducting a job search.
That being the case it’s important to bear in mind that while there will be lots of job opportunities this year, there will also be lots and lots (and lots) more job seekers as well. Many will have considerable experience and good qualifications so all the more reason why every step you take going through the search process has to be, carefully thought through, well prepared, focused, practiced and professionally delivered at every step of the journey.
- Appraise yourself so you are directing yourself at people who will be interested in what you have to offer.
- Prepare a professional C.V. Short and concise, 100% truthful with comments that an employer will want to hear.
- Ensure you have all the relevant alerts entered on the Social Media. If you not sure, a good starting point is; https://tinyurl.com/ybrvj8lz on IrishJobs. They walk you through the whole process, simply and in an easy to understand format.
- Select a number of carefully researched Recruitment Consultants who work in your area. Most have a good website that will tell you what they do and who to contact.
- Prepare a good cover letter/email. Remember your email is the first thing a busy recruiter will see. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t re-write your whole C.V.
- If possible try to get in to meet them. Once they have met you, they are more likely to remember you.
Never forget your Personal Contacts. This is networking of a sort but very ‘softly-softly’ in its approach. As mentioned above, call them or ideally meet them and ask their advice. It works!
If a complete U-turn is what’s on your mind, I would you suggest you tread very carefully. When thinking about ourselves and what we believe we are good at, we tend to be too kind to ourselves. How we think we are may not be the same as how others view us. If there is a divergence between those opinions then applying for and getting an interview might prove to be difficult.
In this situation, it is advisable to seek professional help to ensure that your overtures into the marketplace are focused, clearly reflect your skills and abilities and accurately project you as a match to the position on offer.
Do all your preparation now so when industry cranks up after the holiday period, there will be a flush of great opportunities at all levels.
The competition will be hot so make sure you have, ready to go:
- A striking cover letter. Avoid using templates that are offered all over the place. They can be spotted immediately for what they are; copies!
- Attach a well crafted, interesting C.V.
- Prepare your introduction and presentation. I avoid using the term ‘elevator pitch’. It sounds pretentious, rehearsed, and false. Just be natural and know the details of your career history like you know your name and address.
- Answer question with an example of how you did something similar in the past. Add value and size when possible whether it is a reference to time, money, profit or a savings made.
- Always speak of past employers with ‘fond memories’, just be nice.
- The most important point of all – Smile!
PCC provides professionally delivered, supportive and most importantly, successful career change and redeployment assistance to private clients from all sectors of Industry. Enquiries are welcome and treated with confidence. Email:[email protected]; Web: www.jobdoctor.ie.