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New Year. New Job. The 5 steps to take before you apply for anything.

So you’ve had time to reflect over the summer break and you’ve come to the decision that a new job is on your list of goals for the year. Good for you!

Perhaps you’re looking for greater job satisfaction, more money, better corporate culture, more variety, a leader who inspires you or to have a greater impact. Whatever the reason … you know that it’s going to take time and energy.

SEEK research found that 90% of Australians take up to six months to find and secure a new job.

But there are some key things you can do to make your job search easier, faster and help you to land your ideal next role.

And it’s not all about jumping into action.

Not yet. Hold your horses for a moment ladies.

First we need to set the foundations; do the ground work and set you up for success.

Here’s where to start

1. Clarify what you want. Ok so I hear you saying… that’s my problem Jane, I’m not sure what I want.

This is not about identifying a job title. The world of work is changing so rapidly right now it’s likely that the title for your next role hasn’t even been dreamed up.

So start with what you know you do want.

What type of tasks do you want to be doing each day? What key skills do you want to be using? Do you want to be leading a team? Do you want the opportunity to work from home? Do you want travel to be part of the role?

2. Be clear about what you don’t want. This is equally as important as knowing what you want. Think about what you don’t want to in your next role.

Perhaps you have become known to be good at task or role that you really don’t enjoy.

Some years ago I became known as the expert/go to girl in managing the annual self insurance safety audit. I may have been really good at it … but I loathed this task!

I was really good at influencing the key stakeholders throughout the business to be involved, provide the necessary documentation and to prep them to effectively answer the auditor’s questions.

But I was terrible at all the attention to detailed required in the 3 month long project. PLEASE poke pins in my eyes before I have to do this type of project again!

How about you? What would you rather not do in your next role?

3. Understand your strengths. This step is key. Be really really clear about what your key strengths are.

I ask this question of smart professional women every day… and almost every single time they struggle to answer. And if they do managed to get out a couple of dot points, I’m rarely convinced that they believe that these are their strengths.

Ladies … you have to get clear and comfortable to SELL who you are and what it is that you would bring to your next role.

Need some help to get clear on what your strengths are? Join us as Career by Design – a 1 day workshop for mid career women.

4. Know your value. You are so much more than a list of attributes or the jobs you’ve held in the past. Yes these are part of the story but not the complete picture.

You are unique and have a special value to bring to your next role. What is it?

Susan’s unique gift is that she is a master at uniting a team to deliver way beyond the business expectations. Carissa is a genius in taking a complex idea and bringing it to life in a no nonsense kind of way. Katy is known within her industry to be invaluable in the negotiation phase of multi million dollar IT projects.

You have a unique value to share. It’s time to own it! Make it clear in your CV, LinkedIn profile and during the interview stage that you would be an impressive asset to the right employer.

5. Decide you’re worthy. Because you are. You know you are capable of so much more and that you want to contribute in a bigger, more significant way.

But let me tell you … the most likely thing standing between you and your ideal next role is YOU. I know hash but true.

If you don’t believe you’re worthy of the types of roles you really aspire to …. no one else will believe you either. Your lack of self belief will seep through in you job applications, your networking efforts and in your interviews.

Ladies it’s time to embrace all of who you are and the value you have to offer.

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