The number 1 mistake mid career professionals make when job searching.
Job searching. I don’t think it’s anyone’s favourite thing to do. It
takes effort. It takes time. And it takes mental and emotional energy.
It requires soul searching and at times it can be soul destroying.
We’ve all experienced the excitement of finding a role that we believe would be ideal for us. We imagine ourselves in the role; what we could achieve, the impact we could have and how we would feel resigning from our current role.
Gosh you may have even allocated the potential payrise to pay for school fees or that overdue house renovation.
And then the unthinkable happens…. they offer the role to someone else!
Ah the roller coaster – the highs and lows of job searching.
There is no exact formula to make the process pain free but there are some things we can do to improve our chances to landing our ideal role – more quickly and with less stress.
It all starts with avoiding the number 1 trap I see many mid career professionals fall into.
And that is….
Going out to the market to “see what’s out there” without real clarity about what it is that you are looking for.
This approach can work, but is likely to be hit and miss. It can be disempowering and it’s an incredibly frustrating waiting game. It leaves the process up to chance and what we end up doing is trying to fit ourselves into whatever comes up rather than going after what we REALLY want.
Even worse – if you think a recruiter will be able to figure out what types of role you would be good for based on your past experience, then you are gravely mistaken.
There are some hugely talented recruitment specialist out there who are dedicated to the bringing together the right candidate with the right role but on the whole most are super busy, looking for the safe, quick solution to a job vacancy.
It’s time to flip your thinking and your approach to job searching.
No more aimlessly looking to see what’s out there. No more hoping something interesting will pop up. No more leaving the process up to chance.
It’s your career. It’s up to you to figure out what you want and to go after it. It’s time to drive the process.
A new approach to job searching.
1. Know who you are. The job search process doesn’t start out there. It starts within. Yes this is the soul searching part of the process.
Before you speak to your network, before you update your LinkedIn profile, before you speak to a recruiter – spend the time to get really clear on;
- who you are,
- what your strengths are,
- what value you have to offer a new employer.
Be honest with yourself… what do you love to do. What parts of your past roles have filled you with the most joy.
And equally important, what tasks or responsibilities do you never want to do again! And don’t be fooled. It could be something you are seen to be very good at – but let’s be honest – you hate doing it.
2. Set your direction. You may not know at this stage the job title of your next ideal role. But don’t let that hold you back. The world of work is changing so rapidly right now it’s impossible to know what type of opportunities may become available.
Your best option will be to align your job search with the types of tasks and responsibilities you would like to be included in your next ideal role. From all the work you have done looking within, you now know what the non negotiable elements of your new role are.
3. Go to market. Finally … you are now ready to go out proactively to the job market with certainty and clarity. It’s about going out to your network or to recruiters and saying – this is who I am and this is the value I have to offer and this is the type of work I would ideally like to move to next.
By succinctly and confidently articulating what you are looking for next, you are much more likely to illicit support and interest from recruiters and your network.
And if by chance your ideal role does pop up on Seek – you are more likely to be able to articulate to your potential employer exactly why you are the person they have been looking for.
So my question to you today is – “have you fallen into the trap of going out to the market before you truly know what it is that you are looking for?”
If you have it’s time to switch things up.
Yes it will take a little more work up front but the proof is in the pudding as they say.
By following this approach I’ve seen many mid career professional women quickly turn their job search luck around and land the very next role they applied for. Not just any old role – but their ideal role.
Why do I think it works so well?
Because the hidden secrete is that through the soul searching work at the beginning of the process you’ll get super clear and confident on the value you have to offer and why you would be the best candidate for any role which is perfect for you.
And clarity and confidence is an incredibly attractive attribute to demonstrate to your ideal new employer!
If you’re ready to make a change but need a little more clarity about what’s next for you then I invite you to come along to Career by Design – a one day workshop for smart, dynamic, mid career professional women ready for something more.