Welcome to 2020! Are you heading back to work today with a solid case of Monday Blues? Underpaid, underappreciated or maybe just bored? Perhaps you are looking for your first employment or getting back on the wagon. Whatever your circumstances it always pays to keep an eye out for employment opportunities- sometimes the grass truly is greener!
In 2017 I began job hunting for a complete change of career. After a few hours of initial effort the recruiters were coming to me! The world has moved on from the days of scouring a newspaper, by connecting with the right recruitment agencies and using the right apps job hunting can be a breeze . I was in a comfortable position and found myself turning down at least 3 job opportunities per week whilst I waited for the one.
Today I’m going to take you through a few basics of job hunting- but please note; some points made in this post will be UK specific and assume you are not in major financial difficulty.
First things first. Before you even consider searching for a new job, work out your outgoings and understand what you can comfortably live on. If you are happy in a current job then decide how much wage increase would coax you out of it.
Next think about an acceptable work/life balance. When are you willing to work? Perhaps childcare or other dependants require you to work only daytime, evening or night. Maybe your partner only has weekends off, would you really be happy working all weekends and barely seeing eachother?
Now, how far are you willing to travel? If you’ll be driving take into account fuel costs or look at accessible train/bus timetables and weekly expenditure. I turned down a management job at Clark’s Village because petrol costs plus the parking expense would have negated the increase in salary. However, in a previous role I took a train for several years at £40 per week because I could afford to and the position was worth that expense.
Wherever possible do not take a job that relies on someone else to take you to work.
Remember that a full time contract is 37 hours, anything less is part-time so don’t immediately negate that option when searching for jobs. Part-time doesn’t always mean under 16 hours, and some places have continuous overtime options.
Consider if you are willing to take a temporary contract and if so be sure to find out what that looks like for each company you apply to.
For example- I’m in my second year of a ‘6 month’ temporary contract which automatically renews every 6 months.
Some companies use temporary contracts as a buffer, a tool to let staff go without having to pay redundancies in times of crisis. In these situations if the company is successful it’s most likely your contract will keep rolling.
There are many different job search sites at your disposal but our best friends will be Reed, Indeed and LinkedIn, (I’m not going to teach you how to use them, this is something much better learned from the sites themselves.) Whether you prefer to use sites or apps, just be sure to adjust your account settings to allow potential employers to see your info and contact you.
Always set a professional profile photo, preferably a solo black and white head shot- not you with your cat, on the beach or out on the town!
Upload a recent CV (more on this later) and set your search requirements.
By using the apps you can set notifications to alert you to any opportunities that fit your requirements. Vacancies will appear each morning on your phone and can be swiped away or sometimes applied for with just one click. I found I was spending 5 minutes a day glancing through job opportunities took minimal effort and brilliant encouragement.
If using the local paper for job searches, be aware the positions listed there have already circulated online and will have a much higher level of applicants before you’ve seen it. In some cases the interview availability will have been filled before the paper even goes to print. If you’re looking via local news best to do so online, and if you’re reading this then you obviously can access that!
Apply, apply, apply.
Don’t be put off by the job description if its full of jargon and fancy words, chances are the person you’ll need to impress at interview had no hand in it’s creation.
If they say must have ‘X’ experience but you don’t – APPLY anyway! They can see from your CV that you don’t have it and if that’s a deal breaker you won’t get an interview. What have you to lose?
I’m currently employed as a Co-ordinator in an Aerospace manufacturing firm. The position was advertised as requiring an engineering degree. You know what I did before this? I was a retail manager! ZERO engineering experience. What employers ask for and what they accept are two different things.
Don’t apply for several jobs in the same company all at once. This tells them you aren’t interested in the position itself. If there is more than one position going apply for whichever fits you best and mention (hopefully at your interview) that you would be prepared to consider other roles.
If and when recruiters contact you be sure to carefully lay out your own expectations. Let them give you an introductory summary but before entering a long conversation ask the salary range, if it is below what you’ve pre-decided tell them the minimum you will accept, this will save you both time and could result in a higher offer before you even get to the interview. Tell each recruiter a little more about what you’re looking for and ask them to keep you in mind for future opportunities- they want to find you employment.
That’s all I’ve got for you today.
Now get out there and start searching!
Or spend a little more time at An Average Life to prepare you for the next steps…