This month I’ve had several approach me asking about career transitions and finding new jobs (or first-time jobs).  I find that whether you’re looking to change job roles, change fields, change company or start working; your basic approach should be the same – be prepared.


Preparation

When it comes to landing a job I believe that many of the steps you take preparing for a certification exam will help you.  This includes studying, practicing and quizzing yourself.  More importantly, there needs to be some level of self-awareness which you’ll want to narrow down and refine.  Below is a list of things you should know and understand about yourself.

 

  • What you want? – Do you want to change roles, company, field, etc.?
  • Why you want it? – Is it to grow, to make a bigger impact, to support your family, etc.?
  • Your strengths – What is it you do well?  Why would someone want you in the role?
  • Your weaknesses – Where should you put emphasis on improving yourself?
  • Your network – Who can help you?  How can they help you?


Knowing yourself is half the battle, but it’s how you align yourself that will make the difference.  Your preparation should be filled with self-reflection and how you can drive impact in the role, stand out against competition and add overall value to the organization you will join.  Knowing what the new job role means to you and what it can do for you should also be something in the back of your mind. Things such as these help motivate you. I do not believe you can ever be over prepared.

 

Searching

This is where I find where most people have questions – searching for opportunities.  You know what you want, but how do you get it?  Where do you look for jobs?  This is where I find you have the best chances.

 

  • Your network/referrals – Generally have the highest level of success
  • Headhunters – Find ones specific to the field you’re targeting
  • Job sites (LinkedIn) – Know which sites are widely used in your region

 

Don’t rely on others to find you your next opportunity – be aggressive and get your name out there.  Get in front of recruiters and hiring managers.  Network, network, network.  It’s not comfortable for everyone, but a critical part of job hunting.

 

Beyond these two main steps you’ll have your cover letter, resume/CV, interviews and negotiations, but I find these first two also the most critical.  As you venture out and/or land your next opportunity I’d like to hear how you’ve prepared.  What’s worked for you?  What had the biggest impact on your transition?  What would you advise to others?  Can’t wait to hear from you.