You’ve decided to look for a new job. But where do you start? It can be quite a daunting process at the beginning of a job search. If this is you right now, then check out these top tips to help filter down your job search criteria and discover what’s important. It’s not about just finding a job but finding the right job for you.
Motivation for change
What’s your motivation for a change? What will keep you challenged and fulfilled? Ideally, your new job should make the best use of your abilities, give you a sense of accomplishment and enable you to learn new skills. Maybe it’s a key motivator for you to work in an industry that you’re passionate about or a top priority for you to work in a smaller operation where your responsibilities will be spread across the business. It might be that you are looking for more training and development opportunities, a change in management/leadership style, or you’re ready to take a jump up the career ladder but there is no room to grow in your current role.
What’s going to keep your spark ignited, and help give you longevity in the role?
Money typically sits outside the top three motivators for changing jobs. If the only element of your current job you’d like to change is the money, rather than jumping straight into a job-search, could you instead chat to your manager about possible development opportunities? Is there an option to take on more responsibility? Are there areas which you can upskill? Discuss the situation with your manager, be clear about what added value you can bring to the company and work together to put a plan in place.
If your reason for looking for a new job extends more than just the money, then you’ll want to figure out a realistic salary range from which to start your job search. Do as much research as possible, this will help with setting expectations. Look online at salary calculators, factor in your education, skills and experience to date, research market demand and even chat to mentors and other professionals in your industry. But be realistic. If you’re straight out of university or are thinking about a complete change in career, you’re probably limited with the skills and experience to land that six-figure CEO role just yet.
There are many different types of company culture – it’s a good idea to think about what type of company culture you would prefer to work in? Would you like a culture which emphasises employee participation and team-building activities. Or are you more of an independent worker? Is a more formal management style with structure and process your thing? Or would you thrive in a more causal energetic workplace?
It can be hard to know what kind of culture a company has, but there are some things you can do to find out a bit more about them before you apply such as checking out their online presence or asking friends and associates about their views.
Company culture is important because when you find the right fit, you’re not only likely to be happier, but more engaged and potentially stay in the role longer. Many employers these days are putting a lot of emphasis on developing their company culture. It’s important to have an engaged workforce because it improves productivity and employee retention.
Where are you in your life/career plan right now? Do you have a young family? If so, then flexibility and location may be an important element of finding the right job for you at the moment. If you need to be near to home and are not up for a big commute, then set yourself a km radius for your search. Are you straight out of university? Then maybe mentorship and training might be a priority for you. Or you’re ready to take your career to the next level – then a position in which you can grow and take onboard some ownership and larger responsibilities could be what you’re looking for.
Whatever your current circumstance, write down what is most important to you at this stage in your life and career to enable the direction you want and the right work/life balance.
Reflect on your past experiences. What did you love about some of the roles you’ve had and companies that you’ve worked for? And what didn’t you like? Why are you thinking about leaving your current role/company and what changes are you looking for in a new job?
Jot down some of the key elements (good and bad) from your past experiences and prioritise what’s most important to you moving forward.
Be honest with yourself.
We spend a lot of time in the workplace, so it makes sense to be happy with all aspects of your job. That said, you’ll very rarely get everything you want when you are looking for a new job. It’s a bit like buying a house!
Be honest with yourself when pulling together your criteria. And be realistic. Once you’ve built your wish list for a role, put them in priority order – it’s a great way to figure out which aspects of a new job are the most important to you.
What’s your next move?
That’s where the team at Asset can help. We’re experienced in helping people identify their strengths and providing guidance when exploring your next career move. We work with you and our clients to ensure we find the best fit for both parties. So, if you’re looking to make a change, get in touch.