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  • Writer's pictureHarty Virtual HR

“Starting out achieving that next job and your career goals”

What helps you create Job Search Success?

Over my two decades in the talent arena I have spoken to many people who have disliked being asked, “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” This is a question you should be asking yourself every year – ever before you answer it in an interview. If your career is important to you, the answer will be an instantaneous personal elevator pitch, not a halting string of sentences.

This is the second part of our blog series about how Harty Virtual HR can help you achieve your career goals. A good starting point is an assumption that your career is something that you attach high importance to. A career should be composed of meaningful jobs that you are challenged in, you enjoy, and you obtain and experience progression and personal growth. Even in the best of careers, there are challenging days, but there is a sweet spot of satisfaction when the need to work intersects with the motivation and enjoyment of work. So, apart from paying the bills, a well-managed career built around planned moves will play a part in enriching your whole life.

A key consideration is looking for your next job is an assessment of where you are at right now. Look upon it as a SWOT analysis but one that is focused on your desires as well as your performance. One useful framework for this SWOT analysis is to think of it as in terms of job demands and job resources.

With a positive mind-set, let’s take these in reverse order. Job resources, put simply, are the things that help you achieve work goals. This takes in things like organisational support, support from your boss, and the culture that you and your colleagues work in. Job demands are things that you’re your job appear negatively-biased such as work overload, job insecurity, role ambiguity (due to lack of direction) or workplace conflict. Neither of these are complete lists but they give you some guidance in assessing what you have at present and what you are looking for.

Ask yourself what you like and dislike about your job, and why? Ask yourself how much scope you have to develop and grow aspects of your job that you like - and improve on what you are less happy with.

While your opinion of yourself is the most important, it is wise to evaluate feedback that you have already received on your strengths and weaknesses, or seek a second opinion, to better inform it. Objectively review past feedback from 1-1 meetings and assess how you have grown your skills and used that feedback to action improvements in your performance. Referees are a key resource in this regard. What would they say about you if you called them today?

Ideally, you would like to see a pathway to grow and develop in your current organisation, but blockages may not be down to you, they may reflect that internal progression isn’t visible within a timeframe that chimes with your ambition.

If the conclusion that you reach is that your career planning needs to adapt an external focus and move in that direction, it is time to make decisions and set objectives for your next role. This will help you to consider and assess what you want in your next job.

When you have conducted this analysis, review it against your career objectives (that 5 year question!) as well as the jobs – and organisations - that you are attracted to apply to. The suggestions above will help you to analyse your career management and job search in terms of push and pull factors of current versus potential opportunities.

Our next blog will move onto building your infrastructure for job and career success where we will examine both finding - and being found - in the marketplace.

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