Looking for work has been linked to one of the top 10 causes of stress. But then again, if you are reading this, you are probably well aware of that.
When making any foray into the job market it’s important to be well prepared.
First and fore most you need to be able to articulate your career objective. Think of it as your “elevator pitch”, a 10 to 15 second sales spiel delivered to a potential employer that sums you and your skills up and the type of role you are after.
Whether you are sitting in front of a recruitment consultant or a hiring manager, when they ask, “So what exactly are you looking to do now?” you need to be completely prepared.
So think about the following:
What makes you different from everyone else out there looking for a job right now? Seriously, what is the one thing that sets you apart from the others? What makes you good at what you do? What has been your biggest career-related achievement to date? How have your previous managers and colleagues described your strengths? What sort of working environment are you looking for?
Having carefully thought about your answers to these questions, formulate your career objective along the lines of: “My career objective is to work within a professional, supportive and flexible team environment, for an ethical organisation with a strong sense of social responsibility. I see myself in a role where I can deliver to the best of my ability with energy, integrity and professionalism”.
Once you are 100% clear on your career objective, start talking to any leads you may have. Cast the net as wide as possible and speak to as many people as you can. Consider it all part of the information gathering process.
But a career objective is just the beginning. Right now you are up against some serious competition all going through the same job hunting process so it is important to remain focused, motivated and confident.
In order to stand out in the mind of a potential employer or recruiter, demonstrate solid preparation. Have a list of your key skills and competencies in mind, have strong examples to support these during an interview and have your referees briefed at all times for what they may need to say in order to get you across the line.
You should also be clear as to whether you are looking for work or a job – and yes, there is a difference. You see, getting work may not be quite the same as securing your dream job, but it can certainly help pay the bills and keep everything ticking along nicely in the meantime.
Written by: Paul Slezak, Founder of 2dots.