Finding any job at all nowadays seems to be becoming increasingly difficult, let alone finding a job that suits you perfectly. However, there are some tips that can help you to not only identify what type of jobs are right for you, but to also actively help you go out and secure those roles.
No matter what stage of life you’re at, whether you’re someone fresh out of University, or just someone looking to switch careers, we have a few pointers that should have you headed in the right direction.
Understand your strengths, weaknesses and transferable skills.
It is not particularly easy to look at yourself
as a package of different skills, but that is how you will be viewed by any
potential employer. If you have recently graduated then it will be difficult to
identify where your transferable skills lie, so asking a few friends on your
course might help.
For any good CV going forward it is important that you are sure of where your strengths lie and that you are confident in talking about them at length, whether that be on a phone or in an interview. Making sure that you have identified areas that you can improve on is key too, and shows that you have a mature approach when it comes to developing yourself as a potential employee.
Identify the jobs you want to do
This probably sounds like the simplest piece of advice ever, but it is clearly important that when you’re looking for a job you are doing it for YOU and no one else. You know yourself best and understand what you are going to enjoy most as a vocation, many people have romantic notions when it comes down to job role titles and the status, they hold but the most important thing has to be happiness.
Not only is it a good idea to identify these jobs but it is also important to scan a wide number of job roles in the area to see where you would be most happy specializing. By comparing and contrasting different job posts online you will also be able to see what each company is asking for in terms of skill sets and qualifications, which leads on to the next point.
Identify where you need to improve
You may not already have the skills or the qualifications you need to secure the job of your dreams just yet. That’s ok, as the old adage goes nothing worth having comes easy. What it is important for you to do now is to be clear about where you fall short, and note down the areas you need to improve.
I have heard of people applying for jobs that they knew they were not best qualified for in order to get specific feedback as to why their application failed. So if you have a strong chin that might also be a painful but ultimately important step in identifying how to best break into the industry.
Get professional careers advice
By now you have a strong understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and transferable skills. You have also taken the time to not only identify the jobs you want to go into but realise where you might be falling short. It is important to get professional help in order to make sure the preparation you have done up to now goes into making the right next step.
If you provide a careers advisor with the information you have collected, they will be able to help you in a number of different ways. First and foremost, careers advisors see thousands of CV’s a year, they will be able to give you the best possible pointers on how to improve your overall CV structure and content. Your CV is what sets you apart from everyone else, it is the face that the hiring professionals at the companies you apply for see, its critically important that it is up to date and in the best possible condition. One of the ways that you yourself can make sure there are no embarrassing mistakes in your CV is you double check your grammar, and look for common mistakes in written English.
Secondly, professional careers advisors have an in depth understanding of the job market and know what exactly which qualifications are respected and sought after by companies. The careers advisor will be able to point you in the direction of a course or a role that will help build up the skills you have identified as lacking.
And finally, they might surprise you with something you hadn’t previously thought about. Careers advice staff talk to people with all types of different personalities and from a wide array of backgrounds. They are very good at identify jobs that individuals would be good at. An advisor might suggest a job role that you had never thought about before, and it might just be perfect for you.
Make a plan and stick to it
Once you’ve identified how to take the next step on the path to your dream job it is important to set a goal and attack it. There is no point in having done all of that hard work to stop now, so it may take time to develop new skills and it might cost money to undertake a course whether it be short or long, but you know that it will be worth it in the end.
People can spend years and years in jobs that they don’t like, simply to pay their way and to make sure they’re putting food on the table. It doesn’t have to be like that, by identifying a few key things that separate you from your dream job you can begin on a path that can quickly lead you in a positive career direction.
Getting a new job can be difficult, it can be stressful, and it can be hard work. But is it really going to be any more difficult or stressful than plodding along in a job that you hate? I think not! Be brave and take the first step on your new journey today.
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in freelancing, academic dissertation writing consulting, specializing in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.