Sometimes life gives you lemons and, as the saying goes, you make lemonade. Meaning, when life hands you unexpected situations you make the best of them. Well, what if you don’t want to wait for life (or your career for that matter) to give you lemons and instead you take control before life has a chance to turn sour? Here are 5 things that just might help your career from taking that sour turn.
- Be proactive and start looking for your next employer when you’re at the top of your game. You’ve completed a big project and received accolades from your superior. Start looking. You passed your annual performance review with flying colors? Start looking. Things are going generally well in life and you find yourself saying “Ahhh, finally I’ve made it and can relax.” Definitely, START LOOKING! The reason is when things are going well professionally and you feel proud/happy/ <insert adjective of your choice here> about your achievements, you feel in control and energized. This positive and confident energy then spills into every aspect of your job search and helps you to remain confident because there is no pressure – it’s not like you need a new job urgently since you’re already happily employed – you’re simply being proactive! Not to mention, if you do land an interview, you have a list of recent accomplishments to professionally brag about which will help you sell your skills in the interview easily and effortlessly.
- Research and get curious. New companies are popping up everywhere and odds are that if you’re happily employed you haven’t looked for work in a while and your job search skills might be a bit rusty. One way to jump start yourself into “job search” mode is to list all the things you love about your current company and your job, perhaps even list what you like about working with the people on your team. This list will help you identify your ideal work environment and can also be a great conversation starter and ice breaker as you network and exchange business cards with someone – start conversations by asking about the company they work for! Learn, question, absorb – what is their company culture like? What perks or benefits does their company offer? How many weeks of vacation is the standard? Is working from home an option? Because you’re happily employed and not under pressure to find a job, gather information until the perfect position pops up at the company of your
- Network and make new friends. Remember the word “network” is a verb, an action word, something you have to go out there and actually do. Your amoxil uk network is not always determined by how many contacts you have on Facebook or LinkedIn, although it’s a good start. In addition, you should be networking in person. All the time. Every time. So, live on the wild side and accept those new invites in LinkedIn, take the calls from recruiters/headhunters however inconvenient and know it only takes one person to introduce you to your next employer, and possibly a bigger pay cheque!
- Update your resume. Today. As soon as you have completed a special project or received a ‘special mention’ from your superiors – make sure the new accomplishment makes it on your resume (pronto!) so that as you’re networking (refer to point #3 above) you can send your resume to your new contacts quickly. Much like always carrying a business card with you in the off chance you are introduced to that person that could potentially be your next employer, you want to be prepared to send your resume within 24 hours of that meeting; if only to show your new boss that you’re on top of your game! You only have one chance to make a great first impression so work it!
- Protect your reputation. On the topic of first impressions, this includes online presence as well. These days first impressions are not only limited to in person interaction but also virtual presence as well so the quickest way to check how you come across to the public is to “google” yourself. Yes, do an online search of your name using various online search tools. Also, do yourself a favor and visit more than just the first two pages of search results because you never know what unflattering personal information is hiding on page 10 that might be keeping you from making a stellar first impression. Recruiters/headhunters/your new network contacts will most likely search your name online and so you’ll want to keep your online presence friendly, professional but not inappropriate or too revealing because it might just weaken your first impression and discourage a potential employer from calling you. When in doubt, remember to double check your online privacy settings on those Spring break vacation pics from 1999!
In conclusion, as you venture out into this ever-changing and sometimes unfamiliar territory called the job market – be bold, be prepared and if you somehow still end up with a lemon or two in your basket hopefully some of the advice shared will help turn those lemons into something greater for yourself, even if it’s just one lemonade at a time.