Do you feel like your personal goals and your job no longer align? If you’re not enjoying what you do anymore and you don’t see yourself doing the same job in the future, it may be time for a change. What should you do when you want to change job but you don’t know where to start?
What are you good (and not so good) at?
Start by making a list of what you like and what you dislike about your current job. Write down all the ideas you can think of. It can be the workload, the nature of your job, the work environment, the company culture, your salary and so on. Review as many aspects of your activity as possible. Since you intend to change job, there should be more dislikes on your list.
Add to your list what you want and what you don’t want your next job to be like. Keep in mind that you might never find the perfect job so be flexible and ready to compromise a little. Employers value flexibility a lot. Carry on by including your strengths and weaknesses to your list. This is what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. Be honest with yourself, nobody else will read your list anyway. Finally, add your personal interests.
Which jobs tick your boxes?
Use your list as a checklist to help you find out what you want to do next. Start with the industries you would like to work in and see which ones tick your boxes. Pick one and write down the jobs or activities that you see yourself doing within this industry. Shortlist the occupations that match your preferences. Repeat this process for any industry you’re interested in and see how many potential jobs you can come up with. Remember that finding a job in an industry you have no or little experience in could take a lot of time and effort.
Learn about the jobs and industries
Gather as much information as you can about the jobs you’re interested in. If you know people who are already working in the industry or doing the job you like, either friends or family members, meet up with them and ask them all the questions you can think of. What are the pros and cons of the job? What is a typical day like? Ask them if you can assist them for a day so you can get some first-hand experience.
Go to seminars or events about the industry you’re thinking of working in. Find online courses related to the activity you’re interested in. Online learning platforms like Udemy.com offer thousands of short and affordable courses. If you have the time and if it is possible, volunteering can be a great way to learn about a job or a particular industry too.
Be financially ready
Leaving your current job and searching for a new one can be a cause of financial stress, in particular if you haven’t secured anything yet. It can take months to find a new job, no matter how prepared you are. Make sure you have enough money aside to support yourself while searching for a new job. This is even more important if you have a family. A good rule of thumb is to have six months worth of living expenses saved up. Being financially secure will take the pressure off your shoulders so you can focus on your goal of finding a job.
If you think you’re not financially ready to leave your job yet, start saving now so you can be safe later. Another thing to consider is that you next job may not pay as much as your current one does. This means you may need to make some adjustments to your current lifestyle. Having enough savings aside will allow you to make the transition a little bit smoother. This is particularly true if you have to meet mortgage or loan repayments every month.
Do your own research
When it comes to finding a new job, buying a car, finding online courses or investing in a property, it is crucial to do your own research. Read as much as you can about the jobs and industries you’re considering so you can make the best decision for your next career move. These tips should help you get started in your search of your new job.
After a long time working in the same job, you have finally decided it is time for a change. If you already know the job you want to apply for, your next step is the dreaded paperwork. If you haven’t updated your resume in years and you wish to catch up before going on a job hunt, this week's blog is for you.
Keep it simple
Stick to a simple format for your resume. Keep it clear and neat. An overly creative resume that is hard to read will deter recruiters from spending time on it. Use a traditional layout: your contact details at the top, followed by your skills and experience, and your education background last.
To save space, cut your home address from your contact details. This protects your privacy if you post your resume online and recruiters will only contact you by email or telephone anyway. Last but not least, make sure your email sounds professional. Create a new professional email address if you need to.
Look at samples of resumes online and pick the one you like the most to get started. It is sometimes better to design your own resume, as some employers may consider using a template as a sign of laziness. Your resume should be aimed at the job you are applying for. If you are applying for an architect position for example, designing your own resume will make you stand out and work in your favour.
Focus on your skills and experience
Focus on your skills and your experience. Highlight the skills that are relevant for the position you are applying for. For example, if you are proficient in using a particular software but this software is no longer used, don’t include it in your resume. Skills change over time and what was relevant ten years ago may not be useful today.
In addition to skills, recruiters want employees with experience. Include any work experience that is relevant for the job you are applying for. Focus on what you have accomplished in your previous occupation. Highlight what you brought to the company you were working for: what you built, how you pushed sales numbers up or how you increased productivity.
You are selling yourself so showcase your achievements. If you have a website or a blog, include a link to them in your resume. If you are a freelance photographer posting pictures on Instagram, include the name of your account in your resume.
Polish your presentation
Presentation details such as font and colours can add up to the overall impression of your resume. However the opposite is also true. Choosing inappropriate font and colours can make a great resume look pretty average. The font should be easy to read and look modern. Size matters too. While a smaller size will allow you to squeeze in more information onto your resume, it will also make it more difficult to read by your potential employers. Don’t go below size ten and your resume will be fine.
Regarding the length of your resume, one to two pages is good, depending on your experience. If you are entering the workforce, you may not have much to write on your resume and a single page will be enough. Remember that your resume is nothing but a list of your skills and your experience. Don't write your autobiography.
Pick your words carefully. Avoid using the passive form and choose action verbs. This will give potential employers the impression that you are a dynamic person. Check your spelling before you save your resume. There are enough free online tools available to check your spelling for you so there is no excuse for a resume written in bad english.
Manage your time
In the end, there is only so much you can do to sell yourself. The companies you worked for and your previous roles are what recruiters are the most interested in. These won’t change, no matter how good your resume look. My final piece of advice is not to spend too much time on updating your resume. Set yourself a deadline, write the best resume you can and move on to the next step.
How early in your search for a new job should you break the news to your employer? This is a difficult question to answer. This depends on the relationship you have with your employer. If your relations are good, you can tell your employer as early as when you make the decision to find a new job. In some cases, your employer may even help and support you in your research. It happens. In the case of an already difficult relationship with your employer, the safest option is to wait until you have secured or you’re about to secure your next job.
Honesty is the best policy
Be honest about the reasons why you want to leave. You don’t need to be too specific or negative about these reasons but an honest explanation will probably leave a better impression to your employer. For example you may no longer want to work in an office-based role and you would like to experience working outdoors. Maybe you have come full circle in your current job and you want a career in a different industry with new challenges to motivate you.
Don’t burn your bridges
It is always better to leave your job on good terms with your employer. You may need referrals or recommendation letters from them when you apply for a new job. They could be contacted as a reference or as part of a background check about your previous position. Another thing that can help you leave a good impression is giving enough notice to your current employer. Depending on your activity, you could even offer to stay on until a suitable replacement has been found or until the person set to replace you has been trained and can carry on your work when you leave. If you can avoid it, don’t burn your bridges.
Here are a few more tips that can help you avoid trouble at work when you’re thinking about leaving your job. Try to do all your job hunting outside your working hours. Avoid using your office computer or internet for your research. If you need to make a phone call, use your personal phone and do it during your lunch break when nobody is around - at least nobody who could get you into trouble, like your manager or other colleagues. If your boss was to find out that you’re looking for a new job during work hours, there’s a good chance that you loose your job earlier than you anticipated to.