It can be a struggle to find a job that not only pays your bills each month, but one that excites and motivates you; something that gives you a career rather than just a payment for your time. Not all roles are created equal, and while you more than likely have to undertake some roles to give you experience, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be proactive in developing a strategy to get you where you want to be. To help you, here are some hints and tips to get the ball rolling.
Set a goal
How can you get the career that you want if you haven’t invested time in identifying what you really want to do? People who haven’t set a destination will invariably travel without direction. Think about where you want to be in 5, 10 or 15 years and the steps that you will need to take to get there.
Identify the skills that you will need to achieve your goal and research how you can develop them to support your goal. Perhaps you need to develop entrepreneurial skills if you want your own business in the long run, or perhaps you need specific qualifications. What ever skills you need, seek out employment opportunities that will satisfy your requirements; think of these interim jobs as stepping stones to your ultimate dream career.
Challenge your limiting beliefs
Your limiting beliefs are the ideas that you have that stop you from seeking what you truly want. It is easy to sell yourself short and take the easy route (not doing what you really want), but sometimes you must take yourself out of your comfort zone.
People often limit their opportunities by listening to their limiting beliefs. An example being that they don’t pursue further education because they can’t afford to miss out on income; however, there are a host of courses that you can access remotely and undertake in your own time, so there is no excuse. If you are an engineer you can take a Masters in Lean Manufacturing online; if you are a social worker, you can further your career with online learning, there are so many courses that you can access. The only thing in this scenario stopping you from having the career that you want is you!
Networking is a valuable way to make contacts in the industry that you want to join, whether you are currently in it or not. Most industries have conferences, recruiting fairs and events that you can attend. This is a great way to introduce yourself to executives and business leaders.
We live in a digital age and most correspondence is via email, but business people have countless demands on their time, and will often not have the inclination to respond to emails requesting information about roles or the industry. This is exactly why face-to-face encounters are so valuable. You’ll be able to develop real-life relationships with the people that you want to work alongside in the future, and in a social setting, people are more relaxed and open to chatting. Use this opportunity to identify if there is someone who is willing to mentor you. A mentor is ideally placed to guide and advise you on your chosen career path, and any advice that they give you is from learned experience – something that money can’t buy!
TIP: Before you start networking, ensure that any social media platforms are set to private, employers do check to see what is on the web. Is your online persona representative of how you want potential employers to perceive you?
Believe in yourself
You must have the confidence to pursue your goal career. If you don’t, how can you expect others to give you an opportunity to pursue it? Everybody is guilty of listening to the inner voice that tries to sabotage their efforts, but you must have confidence in your goal and the steps that you have identified to help you achieve it.
You need to maintain a positive self-image and focus on your achievements. Avoid negative self-talk and don’t be tempted to undersell yourself. It can feel a little awkward being so positive about yourself, but you must practice! This is especially important when you are being interviewed or networking.
You need to present as a self-assured, confident person who is going to be an asset to the company and not someone who will need micro-managing. Remember, you are a professional, someone who a business will want to invest their resources into developing for the role.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, doors will remain shut; however, this doesn’t mean that your career dreams are over, it just means that there was someone else was a better fit for the role. The successful people that you admire in the industry have got there by being resilient and persistent.
When you don’t get responses to your CV or job application, or you fail the interview, it can be easy to feel deflated. Every interview that you have gains you valuable experience. Some companies will give feedback from the interview, in which case listen to it, but be mindful that their requirements will be specific to them, and the next interview, you may just nail it. You may go to an interview and not feel that they are the right company for you, perhaps they kept you waiting, asked intrusive questions or you weren’t comfortable with the interviewer; recruitment is a two-way process!
We spend so much time at work, that if you can identify a career that you are passionate about, you will be in the enviable position of having a job that you love. Getting the career that you want can be a long process. You may need to take further qualifications and take on interim roles that will give you the experience that you need; however, the benefit of taking these routes is that you will ultimately have the career that you want.