By Paul Abraham of www.headingonwards.com
The thought of looking for a new job can be exciting, a new challenge, a salary increase or to move into something you have always wanted to do.
It can also be terrifying, thought of applying and being interviewed for a new job, being judged and possibly rejected can be too much to cope with. The crippling fear can stop you finding that new job, the job that could change your life.
Kaizen is the ideal tool to utilise when you are planning a career change. You can create a plan that details the steps you need to take to find and secure another job whilst reducing the fears and pressures that individuals normally experience when making such a life-changing decision.
Below are five steps to keep your job search on track and make your resolution to land a new job become a reality.
Clarify your job goals — and write them down
Deciding on a clear set of job goals is the foundation of a solid job-search strategy so this is the place to start. What do you want to do? What are your short- and long-term goals? Do you need any extra qualifications to secure the job you want? Is there a timescale?
All your job-search efforts and the route you take will depend on the goals you establish. Simply stating “I want a new job” is vague and reduces your chances of success.
Firstly evaluate your work history to identify which underlying and transferable skills you have. Work out what are your core values, and work environment would be best for you. Then make a statement such as “I will have the job of my dreams by December 31st 2022’’. The more targeted and prioritised your goals, the easier it will be to develop the right plan.
Once you know what type of job you want to pursue, write it down. You are statistically 10 times more likely to accomplish your goals when you do this. Think beyond the job title and write down what your role would look like and the skills you have to fulfil your ambitions in your next job position.
Document the industry or industries you’re interested in and for which you are a good fit. Also, consider what you’re looking for in your next employer and the company culture.
For example, are you hoping to work for a small start-up business in a collaborative work environment or would you be more comfortable working at a large, established organization that’s known for its employee career path development?
Set a schedule to keep your job-search plan on track
Searching for a new job is a full-time job in itself. To make the most of the time you have available for your job search, it is recommended to set up a schedule.
Block time on your calendar every day and dedicate it to a particular job-search activity, research has shown that you are more efficient when you focus on one type of task at a time, rather than trying to multitask.
This is where the Kaizen small steps at a time comes to the fore. For instance, you may use Sunday nights to go through recent job listings, make a list of the ones worth applying for and then, you may use early Monday mornings to submit your online job applications.
Tuesday mornings may be dedicated to following up on your applications from the previous week, and Wednesdays may be reserved for networking activities, such as reaching out to valuable connections in your existing network to set up informational interviews and vetting upcoming events.
Define your workspace
When you treat your job search like a job, you’re more likely to stick to your plan and be successful. Find a place that you’d like to dedicate to your job hunt.
It may be a certain table at your local coffee shop, a “hot-desk” space, a study room at the local library, or a particular room in your home. If you’re using a space in your home to conduct your job search, be sure to share your “work” schedule with your family or room-mates so they know when you’ll be unavailable.
Establish milestones in your job search – and reward yourself
We all know the job search can be quite a long journey, with plenty of ups and down.
To keep yourself motivated and your job search on track, break down your job goal into smaller, more digestible milestones. Make a list of the activities, tasks, and deadlines associated with each milestone.
For instance, you may give yourself the goal of updating your CV and LinkedIn profile to support your new job goal before you begin applying for jobs. Once you achieve a goal or reach a milestone, reward yourself.
The rewards don’t have to be extravagant, it could be as simple as a luxurious aromatic bubble bath, a nice glass of scotch or wine at your favourite bar, or a night out with friends.
By dividing your goal into more manageable chunks of work and rewarding yourself once you complete the work, you are less likely to get overwhelmed and discouraged. This can be the difference between giving up and remaining committed to your job-search plan.
Ask for help!
The job search can be very lonely. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There are plenty of services out there that can help. For example, contact recruitment agencies or sign up to various employment mailing lists and remember to tell your network of friends and relatives that you are looking for a career change.
“Developing projects of my own and producing and writing and directing is something that’s very interesting to me, but you know, one step at a time and you’ve got to establish yourself on one side before you really have the power to do something else. That’s always the immediate goal.” Tye Sheridan
Next article: “Kaizen for goal-setting”.
Read more of Bramley-based Paul Abraham’s wellbeing articles here.