So…. you decided to move on from your current job. Pat yourself on the back, you made a courageous decision which is difficult for most of the folks to make. It would have taken a long time to make the decision, or it wasn’t time consuming at all. Now you’re in a better place! Isn’t a firm position of “I know I’m moving on” much better than being on the fence?
The phase 2 of the journey starts from the moment you decided to move on. What should I do next to bag myself my dream job? Sorry to disappoint you, but the truth to be told. Finding your dream job takes a lot of effort, time and patience. As you are an ambitious professional, I have no doubt you’re ready for the phase 2 of the moving on Journey.
Let’s rock and roll!
Decide what job you want (be certain about what you don’t want)
You may have decided to move on from your current job without an idea of what exact job you want next. Especially if you are a member of a versatile professional body (i.e. a professional accountant, engineer etc.) by virtue of your education and, due to the experience gained as part of the education, you have more than one area where you can take as a playing field. So you can either do a parallel move (like moving from the accounting practice to join an Internal audit function in a corporation or a role in a financial reporting function etc.) or you can move to a totally different area (like a role in Risk Management function or Compliance function). Process of finding out what move is the best for you is very personal. This is where you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Just because you have the relevant experience and education, you should not jump into whatever job you find.
In my personal experience finding out which job you want next is the 2nd most important decision you make in this journey. You need to evaluate each of the interested job areas against your education, experiences and your passion. I believe that being passionate in what you do paves the path to success. Don’t forget you are doing this for your own good. Hence, you need to be certain about what jobs you absolutely have no interest in at all. Because, once you eliminate what you don’t want from the population of available jobs, it’s easier to see what is available for you. Once you are certain what job you want then the rest of the journey is easy. A piece of advice I can give you with my personal experience is to not let anyone else make the decision for you. Let them help you out with options that you can take but this should be your own decision. So make an informed decision.
Decide who you want to get assistance from in your job-hunting journey
This is the time to test how you can use your network to get where you want to be. Since now you are certain what job you want to pursue, check your network to see who is in the same area as the one you want to pursue a career in. As you already know them in personal capacity, it’s easy for you to approach them and ask for their humble tips to get where you want to be. Arrange a coffee meet-up and sit down for a chat. Ask if they are aware of any openings in their company or within their network that they would like to refer you for. Trust me, this is one of the most efficient ways to pursue your dream job. Some researchers suggest about 70% of jobs in the world are placed through personal relationships.
At the same time as you approach your network, you may approach recruiters too. Recruiters are professionals who have extensive knowledge about the current trends in the job market and strong relationships with HR functions in businesses. However, you need to be ready to carefully research and find two or three recruiters you would like to work with. You can get some tips from your friends or former colleagues who went through a recruitment process recently to recommend a recruiter. You could ask them to refer you to their recruiter. This saves you a lot of time in doing your own research on the recruiters. I warn you that you should be ready to discuss and agree with the recruiters you selected about the job you want to pursue. Such as what type of a company you’d like to work for, what level (non-managerial level, managerial level etc.) and what is your benefit expectations at the first meeting itself. As recruiters are getting paid based on their candidate(s) securing the job, they may not have best interest of you in their heart (some of them are an exception). Hence, it is very important for you to rely on recruiters you can trust and who do not push you to apply for or take up interviews for the jobs you really don’t want to pursue. Be ready to walk away from recruiter(s) when they do not listen to you. Do not forget, you are the boss in your job searching journey.
Assess each interested opportunity against the ideal job you’re pursuing
When you find an open role, it’s time for you to assess them against your dream job (what you decided in step 1 above). Skim each job specification very carefully to ensure it fits with what you are looking for. Whether the open role approached you through your network or through a recruiter, reach out to the intermediary party (who brought you the open role) to gather more information about the job duties, your reporting lines (both who reports to you and who you are reporting to), team size, any specific projects you may be working on, reporting intervals, initial understanding of the salary package, what are the growth opportunities (and the list goes on). Once you have as much as information for you to assess against your expectations, appraise the role against your ideal job before investing any more time on the particular opportunity. One important thing in this stage is to ensure you have sufficient information to assess if the company you are applying for is where you want to work for. You may have friends who are currently employed by the same entity so in this case it’s easier to get to know about the company culture. In the same time, you can find out about how long employees stay in the company (via LinkedIn Premium product), publicly available information about the company etc to help your assessment.
My personal experience is cherry-picking on job opportunities is absolutely necessary. Remember, you only deserve the best. When it comes to finding a job, it’s no exception. Again, you may get some assistance from a friend or your mentor in this process. However, don’t forget, it’s you who needs to make the decision of whether to go ahead and apply for a particular role. You invest a lot of time and energy on the hiring process. Hence, you should not be applying for roles where you are not certain that you want to pursue.
Customise your resume for each role that you’re applying for
Here comes the fun part of scaling your resume for each job you are applying for. You may wonder why you can’t have a standard resume. Because you want your resume to be highlighted to and picked by the hiring manager out of (possibly) hundreds of resumes they have received for the same role. Hence, you must highlight in what you have to offer to each particular role so that you match your resume to what the role requires from the candidates for e.g. if the role requires for you to have experience in specific area then you need to highlight that you have such experience. Your resume speaks for you in the very early stage of the hiring process. Ensure your resume is crisp and to the point. This is your opportunity to make the first impression to your hiring manager. Resume is a piece of paper which represents before you even get a chance to present yourself in front of the hiring manager. It has to be as impressive as yourself for the hiring manager to decide to meet you in person!
Stay tuned for the phase 3 of the moving on journey. Be positive ambitious professionals we are together in this journey!
P.S. (If you need assistance on scaling your resume, you can contact me via LinkedIn for free advice).
About the author
Chandinie Gamage is an accountant by profession who never worked as a mainstream accountant. At the moment she is working in Risk Management at US Bank by the day and being a volunteer to shape Ireland’s youth with Foróige as well as helping professionals around the world via LinkedIn providing personalized career advice by the night.