Normally a new job is high on the New Year wish list. When seeing colleagues move on, it can be tempting to follow suit, but before taking the plunge, don’t underestimate the effort and time involved and really think it through.
In truth, in today’s digital and marketing scene, employers want skills and relevant experience, which for some could be unfortunate, but they’re looking for people who don’t need much breaking in time and can add value from the get-go. Therefore, some interview processes are becoming a little more fluid and quicker.
Here are ten quick tips to make the journey a bit easier.
- Try not to be ambiguous. Create a mind map outlining which sectors, sizes and structures, industries and roles you’re interested in joining. You can start by talking to specialist recruiters or searching online for relevant jobs that match your interests. Think about location too, hybrid roles are more common than ever before but a fair few firms will want you in the office.
- Money. It will play a significant part in your job search so it’s best to get a true gauge of the market and the salary you should be aiming for. The lack of skilled candidates over the past 2-3 years has pushed up salaries but not every role will offer an above-average salary, and most are now more in line with market conditions. Going in too high can eliminate you, so if asked at an interview, be open and honest about your expectations and focus on how your skills can add value to their business.
- Be sure you want to move and think about your career to date, the roles or elements of them, past and current, that you really enjoy. Think about the times you’ve felt most happy at work and why it made you happy. Were you working alone, or in a great team, or did you enjoy the projects/campaigns that you were involved in? It may sound obvious, but this is where your focus should be in your next role.
- Whilst it’s not advisable to apply a scattergun approach, do keep an open mind. Apply to roles that may look dry on an advert but have an element that may interest you. You may see a different side to the story when you get under the skin and talk to the relevant people.
- Be committed. Choosing to look for a job can appear exciting, but it is very different when going through the loops, the applications, attending interviews, handing in your notice, and leaving behind the people you may have enjoyed working with for a long time. More money will not necessarily make you happy, so think long and hard before you make the jump. On the flip side, if you are genuinely disengaged, it’s time to push on.
- Be accessible from the off. Too many are slow to respond to invites to interviews which becomes more dangerous in the latter stages. Committed people take precedence and, just as you won’t wait around, neither will employers. It’s a small industry and it’s likely you’ll cross paths again. Poor response or failure to attend interviews isn’t a good look and is remembered. People would prefer you to be honest and say you’re not interested rather than radio silence.
- Be brutally honest with yourself, assess the true feelings behind your job, good and bad, see what the reason is behind those feelings, and then try to build a picture of the deeper reasons you want to leave. It can give you a real focus and be a huge help in finding the next role that’s truly aligned with what you want. Sometimes the grass is not always greener.
- When you get to interviews, start off on the right foot. The first five minutes are critical. Others suggest it’s a lot less, but most fair-minded interviewers will give you time. Get the small things right such as research. Preparation makes a significant difference and can give you the nod in a close race. Try to master a one-to-two-minute commercial about yourself. It can be dressed up differently but at some point, you will be asked the inevitable ‘tell me about yourself’ question. Those who are favourably remembered usually get the chance for a second interview. Likeability plays a huge part in hiring decisions. Be upbeat and positive but don’t dominate or interrupt questions. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, no one is, but do focus on getting people on your side. Be a champion listener, try not to rush questions or drone on. If the interviewer wants more information, they’ll ask for it.
- Expect new kinds of interviewers. If the last time you walked the interview plank saw you one to one with a single interviewer, it’s ready to get ready for a Zoom or Teams meeting. They’re often quicker and snappier and it’s likely that you’ll be interviewed by a small group, especially for more mid and senior-level roles.
- Keep at it. Some can navigate their careers with ease, but for most, it isn’t easy. Learn from the knockbacks, keep improving all the time and persevere, eventually, the right door will open.
Most of all, good luck.