Plus 5 simple ways to find a job you’ll love.
Whether it’s a through an epiphany or a gradually dawning realisation, one day you realise you just don’t want to go into work, ever again. Every job has a ‘use by’ date, when the effort you put in no longer equals the satisfaction you gain from it.
Regardless of how or when you confront the reality that this job is no longer for you, it creates a whole new challenge – how to find a new one you’ll love. In the current economy this may seem somewhat idealistic. But before you take the first thing that comes along that vaguely fits your skills and experience, it’s wise to be aware of the traps and pitfalls of changing jobs.
By simply avoiding these new job search mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to securing something that ticks all your boxes.
1. Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire
I know, if things are really bad, it’s tempting to quit as quickly as you can. Anything else would be better, right? Wrong! At best you’ll gain temporary relief knowing you’ve got a regular income. At worst, it could turn out to be even more diabolical than the job you had.
While this may be somewhat melodramatic, I’m often amazed how many people contact me for career coaching within 6 months of starting a new role. This usually happens when they’ve committed the following job change blooper!
2. Relying mostly on recruiters, online job sites and a generic CV
In the same way that real estate agents are acting for the vendor, so too are recruiters and online job sites. Their job is to provide a short-list of the most suitable candidates to the employer and given the volume of applicants for many roles, they do this quickly and ruthlessly.
If your CV is simply a laundry list of past jobs and doesn’t spell out how and why you’re a perfect fit for the role, it will quickly end up on the ‘no’ list. Your application and CV have only one job – to get you an interview. If you haven’t taken the time to carefully match your experience, skills and achievements to the advertised role, you won’t even get a look in.
3. Being vague about what you want and can do
This one’s a common trap, particularly if you’ve been in the same role with the same organisation for a long time. It often seems easier to talk about what you’ve done in the past because it’s familiar but remember, there’s a reason why this type of work has reached its use by date for you!
Lack of clarity about what you’d really like to do and are capable of will create self-doubt that festers and grows. Before you know it, you’ll be six months into your job search but no closer to getting the job you want.
Many of your skills and past experience will be transferable but if you can’t join the dots between what you’ve done and what else you could do, you’re seriously limiting your options.
4. Wishing, Waiting and Hoping for the dream job to come to you
Reality check – no one cares more about getting you the best possible job than you do. Firing off 50+ applications and sitting back waiting for the phone to ring is a sure-fire way to go nuts! While I’m sure you wouldn’t do that, let’s save a lot of time and angst by ruling this strategy out now.
If your options, strategy and job search net aren’t wide enough, chances are you’ll be stuck in your dead end job or unemployed for a very long time.
5. Losing heart, patience and confidence
Once you lose belief in yourself, so too will everyone else you approach for a new job. I once interviewed a candidate for a role who looked fine on paper. Within 5 minutes of starting the interview it was obvious that he had no faith in himself to do the job.
Sadly, he was unsuccessful because while he’d prepared for the technical parts of the interview, he froze and then stumbled when asked how he’d take on responsibilities for which he had no prior experience. What he didn’t realise was that I wasn’t looking for an expert, rather someone who was prepared to learn. “I don’t know…” just doesn’t cut it as a response to an interview question!
Likewise, getting the job you want isn’t likely to happen overnight. These days it can realistically take months and sometimes years and it’s important to do whatever you need to do to stay focused and confident.
5 Simple Job Change Success Strategies
- Take time out to step back, gain perspective and consider all your options.
- Make a list of everyone you know who could help. Reconnect, schedule a catch-up and discover who they know who could use your skills.
- Get crystal clear about what you do best and want to do next. Review your career highlights and identify what it was about them you most enjoyed.
- Identify your transferable skills. Research all the possible ways you could use your favourite skills more often and be prepared to be flexible. Create an action plan to target preferred organisations and industries.
- Become your own best advocate! Take accountability for your career and do everything you can to make yourself irresistible to your dream employer. This could include volunteering to gain more experience, asking for professional help or teeing up a buddy who’ll keep you focused on doing whatever it takes.
Fortunately, the most common mistakes job hunters make are all avoidable. With commitment, a positive attitude and a strong support team, you’ll soon be doing your best work and loving it.
For more tips and ideas on how to discover what job you’d love to do and how to get it, check out The Great Life Redesign – change how you work, live how you dream and make it happen today.