Although I’m only in my mid 20’s I’ve had a number of jobs and experienced working with different types and sizes of companies. I’ve been in a position where I’ve been able to pick between more than one offer and also where I’ve been stuck wondering what the heck my next move should be.
I think in the UK we are too bothered about having the perfect CV with no blemishes. It’s like we should look like we’ve never made a decision that wasn’t right for us. It’s not practical and it just does not reflect real life!
Finding the role for you
It’s a good idea to start off by thinking of the factors that are most important to you in a job. This could include, for example, working hours, salary bracket, location, and the industry etc. These are all things that can be filtered within popular job websites when performing a search.
One of the best pieces of advice I could give anyone thinking of a career move is to speak to a careers advisor. They can help you understand which career path could be the best for you based on your skills, qualifications and what it is you think you would enjoy from a role. They can also help you to improve your CV in order to create a great first impression with employers. You could start by checking out the National Careers Service, a UK Gov website that provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.
In terms of the search itself I have found speaking to a few different recruitment agencies is extremely helpful. They get to know you and your CV and work with hundreds of employers to find the best employees for jobs they are advertising. It also takes away the hard work of applying direct and filling out endless forms. They basically work on commission for finding candidates for employers, so it’s in their interest to secure you a job and one that you are likely to stay in too. There can however be conflicts of interest whereby some recruiters are more interested in keeping the paying employers happy than the candidates, who can be deemed as replaceable. A simple Google search for local recruitment agencies could be a good place to start.
There’s also no harm in speculative applications. This is how I secured my role with a digital marketing agency. Is there a company you really want to work for? Why not think about articulating why you want to work for them and conduct some research about the company to tailor an application. I read somewhere that most jobs are not advertised, so although it may seem like a waste of time there’s a chance that the company would admire your ambition and appreciate the effort you made to get in contact. Plus there’s going to be less people going for a job that does not exist on paper yet… so less competition! In fact, this is how I secured my previous job with a digital marketing agency.
Getting started in a new job
I recently started a new job and it got me thinking about how daunting this can be for people, especially if they are new to the world of work or perhaps haven’t worked for a while. Although it’s exciting, It’s also a time of uncertainty. Will I be welcomed and get along with the people? Will I be able to do the tasks that I am set and pick things up as quickly as expected? These are just some of the things that can cross the mind of a new starter.
I have compiled a quick list of things I think can help you settle straight into a new role:
*Make an effort to introduce yourself to people you will not only work closely with but others around the place too. This will immediately make it look as though you care about the people you will be working with and that you want to get to know them. They will straight away be more inclined to help you settle in and become part of the team.
*Why not take in some treats and send an email round saying you got treats for your first day? Leave them on your desk to encourage people to come and talk to you. After all people love free food.
*Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It shows you are keen to understand more and helps you to learn things in your own way. Maybe just avoid asking the same question if possible.
*If you feel like you’re not picking up something quickly enough speak out to your manager. They will be able to reassure you and hopefully provide you with additional support where it is needed. They took you on and they don’t want to see you struggle or fail.
*Where possible try and put more time in than the 9-5. If you are able to dedicate a bit more time than your set working hours to a new job when you first start you are showing dedication and hard work straight away. You can use this extra time to learn anything you think may help in your role, such as brushing up on your Microsoft Excel skills if that is something you will be using in your job.
Most importantly, don’t worry if a job is not right for you. The worse thing you could do if you were unhappy for a while in a job is to ignore the feeling and keep doing something that is not fulfilling. I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and quit because obviously we can’t all just do that. But there’s no reason you can’t start the search for your potential next move. It can give you something to focus on and to feel hope for a more career fulfilled future.
We spend most of our lives working so we should be doing something that interests us and makes us happy!