It is estimated that the average person will change jobs seven times during their working lives, whether as a result of progression or changing their career altogether. And the higher up the proverbial career ladder you climb, the longer most senior people remain in each position that they hold.
When the moment feels right to explore new opportunities, it many have been some time since you were open to other possibilities. You are not alone. In fact many senior professionals often forget what it takes to position themselves as a possible candidate of choice in the eyes of the search firms managing the type of assignments that could enable them to move forward in their career.
So here are six ways that you can set yourself up for career success and gain an edge over your fellow candidates who are also vying for the attention of those recruiters who can help take your career to the next level.
- Dust off your CV: In addition to the traditional CV, you need to ensure that your LinkedIn ‘virtual’ CV is up to date, too. This makes it easier for recruiters to search and find you should a suitable role be available.
- Make a plan: It might seem painfully obvious, but the old adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ is as true today as it ever has been. Write down your career goals and objectives and set a deadline by which you want to achieve them. This will keep you focused and make it easier for you to make informed decisions about the direction you head, after all you cannot afford to leave your career to chance.
- Don’t focus on job titles: It is easy to get distracted by having a bigger, better-sounding job title, but while ambition is very important knocking the CEO off their perch within six months might be a little unrealistic! Consider what your next role might be and how it might facilitate or hinder your longer-term career prospects. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable and avoid the all-or-nothing approach to career progression – target one move at a time, even if that move is a lateral one – sometimes a slower ascent to the top pays off particularly if there is the prospect of promotion further down the line.
- Network effectively: Who you know is just as important as what you know in the promotion stakes. Connect with those people within and outside your current organisation who could help your career whether through industry networking groups, internal committees or online groups such as those found on LinkedIn, for example. These people may not have a role that’s right for you in the here and now, but they mat do so or they could introduce you to someone in their network who does.
- Stay contemporary: Whether you are working social or healthcare or the education sector, each one is constantly evolving so keep up to date with the latest news and news. Be proactive by subscribing to the relevant news feeds, attend relevant seminars and conferences and use these as an opportunity to network with people who already working in the role that you want for yourself.
- Dip your toe in the promotional waters first: Nobody every dipped both feet into the water, so before you take the leap make sure you understand what you are getting yourself into. Talk to as many people as you can who are actually doing the job that you want and find out everything there is to know about the role.
Setting career objectives is more than simply saying that you ‘want’ to achieve ‘X’ within ‘Y’ timeframe, it’s saying you ‘will’ achieve it and that you have the drive to commit to those goals.
If you are considering your next move, talk to us. We value our candidates and our role is to understand your individual requirements so that we can better support your career ambitions.