There are so many things you should consider before you even start scrawling the internet to find that perfect job. But I’m going to share with you some questions that you should be asking yourself before you even start looking for a new job.
1) Is my CV up to date?
This is so obvious. Make sure you have an eye-catching CV that has all the correct dates, titles, and contact details (for yourself and your references if you’re including them). Not to blow my own trumpet, but I’m really proud of my CV. Putting effort into the paper version of your working self, shows potential employers the commitment you’re willing to put in to your real work.
2) Why am I looking for a new job?
Sit down and think, even brainstorm with the old pen and paper, to identify the reasons you’re looking for a new job. Is it because you don’t enjoy it? Do you not get on with a particular colleague? Or have you simply out-grown it? This is a common question that interviewers love to ask but identifying the ‘why’ can lead you to identify your dream career path.
3) What aspects of my current job/hobby do I enjoy?
To move forward into a job that you love, it’s important to identify the elements of your current job or hobby that you actually enjoy. Then, when looking at job descriptions you can see what fits – because if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. You’ll enjoy work so much, that you won’t mind the thought of Monday Morning.
4) What aspects of my current job/hobby do I not enjoy?
Obviously linked to question three but this is more important because you’ll know what to steer clear from when applying for jobs. It can be really demoralising going from one position you don’t enjoy, to another. It also makes your CV look questionable with job hopping because you haven’t identified what you do/don’t enjoy doing.
5) Is how I’m feeling a temporary emotion?
Have you just had a really bad day in the office? Has everyone been on your back all day? Do you usually enjoy the work you do? It’s important to think about this, because you may find yourself regretting your decision to move into a different role if you really think about how the job makes you feel on the good AND bad days.
6) Would I be comfortable taking a pay cut?
To put it plainly, you’re not just going to walk into your dream job and do everything you’ve always dreamed of doing. It just doesn’t work that way. So if you want to have a job that you enjoy, it may be likely that you’ll have to take a pay cut, especially if it’s a highly saturated market. It’s therefore important to consider if you would feel comfortable taking a pay cut and the possible implications this could have to your current lifestyle – remember that even though you shouldn’t have to work just to pay the bills, but it’s important that you still do!
7) Is there an opportunity to move into a different role in my current workplace?
It’s worthwhile speaking to your manager or human resources manager/adviser to find out if there’s any opportunities for progression or even a new role that you could learn about doing whilst working. If you’re a good employee, then I should imagine they’ll do what they can to get you to stay within the company – but you have to think about this in regard to questions three and four, and maybe a little bit of two.
8) Am I willing to commute?
Commuting can be painful, especially if you work the typical 9 – 5, Monday – Friday schedules. Sitting in queues of traffic, cramming yourself onto the train like a sardine, adding extra time to your work day – it all sounds pretty unappealing, especially when you consider the impact it can have on your mental health and the potential impact on your job satisfaction. Research shows that the ideal commute is around 16 minutes, and to walk it. But sometimes this just isn’t feasible, so it’s really important to consider the potential commute you’ll have to make if you do land yourself a new job.
Are you on the hunt for a new job? Let me know how you get on, and if you need a hand, just drop me a line – for some reason I feel like I can encourage people to go into professions they never thought of before *shoulder shrug*