It’s already mid-August, the nights are drawing in and the summer holidays are coming to an end…but for many, it’s been the perfect opportunity to take a step back and contemplate their current position and future aspirations.
Over the last twenty years, I can’t begin to remember the number of people I have spoken to who have taken the opportunity of lying on a beach to re-evaluate and consider that all important next move. Whether it’s about achieving a better work life balance, moving into a new sector, getting that promotion or seeking a new challenge.
Yes, it’s daunting but with the right planning and conversations, looking for the next opportunity shouldn’t be unobtainable, it should be exciting and enable you to find a job that really suits you.
So, now you are back, what should you be doing next?
1. What do you want from your future career?
At Anderson Quigley, our conversations tell us that often people leave their jobs due to a lack of career progression, cultural fit or lack of leadership. When you think about your next move, it may be easier to think about what you don’t want…but do consider all the options. Is it that you want a new role that brings more seniority, people management responsibility, strategic input, board exposure, career progression, work-life balance or cultural fit? It may be that you want something totally different; to build a more flexible career based around a portfolio of interim or NED appointments.
Write it all down; the must haves, the things that would be nice to achieve and the things you can’t compromise on! Be prepared to be flexible; it would be rare to find a role that hits every key requirement, so this is where your list will come into its own. However, don’t compromise too much, think of your next role in career terms, where would success take you?
2. What kind of culture do you want to work in?
Every organisation will have its own work culture and to thrive you must be able to fit with that culture. For instance, do you prefer a more entrepreneurial environment, or do you prefer more structure and systems to work within? Do you like to work on your own or as part of a team?
Whilst you are also considering the culture, you should also think about how your values align with that of the company. For example, if you’re someone who enjoys helping others, think about how your job contributes to making improvements to public services that benefit those who access them. By allowing your values to be expressed in your work, it’s very likely that you will increase your level of overall job satisfaction.
3. Talk to the right people
By speaking to professional recruiters, like Anderson Quigley, you will soon be able to form a picture of the market and how and where your skill set can add most value. By having the open conversations, your search agency will be able to build a strong picture of your suitability for roles.
Likewise, get out and network! Whilst this doesn’t come easily to all, the chance to engage with peers and colleagues should be taken. Not only will you gather valuable insight about roles (some of which may never reach search companies!) you will also learn more about key issues of the day, which will prove invaluable when it comes to attending interviews.
The golden rule of networking? It’s not always about talking to people you know it’s being introduced and talking to people they know.
4. Get your house in order
Even if there isn’t a role to apply for, start preparing a CV and supporting statement. In doing this you will not only gain a clearer view on your achievements but also where your strengths lie and conversely where you may need further development. There are lots of websites and articles on how to write a good CV but above all else, it must be something you feel comfortable with and are able to talk through easily and confidently with a recruiter or potential employer. My point is, start thinking about your CV and supporting statement before you need it; those done in a rush often lack the insight and finesse to really sell a person into a role.
Perhaps think about keeping your CV “live,” noting achievements as they come then rationalising and targeting for specific applications. Has there been a career hiccup? Be clear and honest, don’t provide fragments and allow others to piece together incorrectly. The rest of the world will be relaxed if you are too.
At Anderson Quigley, we are experienced recruiters and are more than happy to help and guide candidates through the process of creating a CV. We offer guidance when required and can talk you through what works well and what doesn’t.
Rome was not built in a day… and as frustrating as it may seem, finding your perfect job won’t happen overnight. Job hunting can be tiring, laborious and repetitive. However, with the right level of planning and support, you can achieve your goals and find a role that fits with your aspirations!
by Helene Usherwood
Helene Usherwood is Head of Practice at Anderson Quigley, specialising in permanent appointments, executive and non-executive in the health sector. She has nearly twenty years’ experience and has worked with many national and regional organisations. She enjoys providing careers advice to those looking to make their next move, from inside or outside the health sector, enabling individuals to take that important next step.
Whether you are looking for your next role or are thinking about your next recruitment campaign and want to attract top talent, please contact Helene on +44 (0)7719 322 669 or firstname.lastname@example.org