Sometimes, you aren’t looking for drastic change. All you need is a few pointers to make sure you don’t lose sight of your goal, or let skills fall by the wayside. In this weekly series, we provide some helpful career tips that you can take with you every day so that you can stick to what YOU want to do. This week we start with quick tips for when you are job hunting.
- Make sure you’ve got all the relevant information while weighing up options. Probably the easiest and most simple way to stay on top of the jobs market is to sign up to Stay Nimble, which gives you access to simply presented information about salaries, skills and employers hiring for roles in your area, in association with Burning Glass. So if you aren’t sure what kind of salary you should be aiming for, don’t trawl the job ads. Stay Nimble and Burning Glass are making it easier for you to be armed with the data you need to make sure the offer of a ‘competitive’ salary is truly competitive.
- You might need to take any job that comes along, if your circumstances mean you need income quick. That doesn’t have to be your future, though – everyone has done a job out of necessity at one point or another. The important thing is to keep your eye on the future, and by using Stay Nimble, you’ll be able to do that more simply than before. No need to browse the jobs boards or be unsure whether the online course you’re taking will help you make a move. The important thing is to regularly spend some time understanding what is changing around you, working on your confidence and resilience and staying career fit.
- Putting yourself out there is daunting, but can set you on a new path. Take inspiration from David Casarez, who had ended up homeless, and was standing on the street handing out resumes. Someone tweeted out his situation and he has gained lots of interest, job interviews and a place to stay – and hopefully soon a job. You don’t need to go viral to find something, though; it’s enough to ask your networks to keep their eyes open for opportunities for you.
- You don’t need to take someone else’s opinion as fact. They might have loved working for a particular company; if you aren’t having a great experience, that doesn’t mean you’re the one in the wrong. Everybody’s journey is different, and you need to forge your own path.
- One of the things that scares people about promotions and bigger responsibilities is the visibility it gives you, especially with things such as public speaking and presentations. Nerves can be reduced with practice, but there are ways to get practice without compromising your work – join an improv group for better confidence, host a pub quiz, or ask to speak for a few minutes on a topic at a local meetup or Pecha Kucha
- Even though you should have a pension set up by your workplace, it’s good to save extra. If you put a percentage of your salary into a separate account every time you get paid, then ignore it, you should start to build up a decent pot for emergency bills, or if you suddenly lose your job, or if you’re considering going freelance and want a three-month financial buffer.
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Author: Katherine Stephen
Katherine is a qualified careers advisor and a member of the Career Development Institute. She is about to embark on a PhD programme to research meta-skill development in the workplace, and is a fiction editor and publisher in her spare time. You can find her on Twitter at @katobell.