My Top Tips For Finding A Job That You Love
As you'll know if you read this post, I started a new job just before Christmas. I'm now 4 months in and I'm happy to report that I'm absolutely loving it. This job couldn't be more different to my previous role - it's more fast-paced and varied, I feel like I'm always on the go and I have a much bigger team and remit than I've had before. But do you know what? I am having so much fun.
I feel like I'm learning something every single day, I'm continually inspired by the people I work with and I'm really enjoying working in the beauty industry for the first time. It's a role that I didn't even know existed this time last year, but somehow, it's turned out to be the perfect job for me at this point in my career.
Reflecting on my first few months on the job got me thinking about the whole job search and recruitment process, and so today I thought I'd share my top tips for finding a job that you love.
1) Stay career focussed
When you're not actively looking for a job, it can be quite easy to take your foot off the gas with all things careers related. I've certainly been guilty of letting my CV get a little bit rusty in the past, but the truth is, the longer you're out of the loop for, the more difficult it is to break back in. I speak from experience when I say that this approach can often leave you plodding along in a job long after it's stopped giving you everything you need.
No matter how happy you are in your current job, it's always worth keeping a focus on your career and where it may lead. Read some books related to your industry or self development, and keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. You don't have to spend ages on it, but keeping you head in the career game will make things easier when you decide to start the search.
2) Don't wait until you're desperate
That leads us nicely on to my second top tip, which is don't leave job hunting until you're desperate to leave your current role. I like to try and start having a little think about what I want to do next around 6 months before I want to make a leap - I think the right time is when you've started to become a little bit complacent in your current job, but you're not so bored and disenfranchised that you're dying for a change.
My reasoning for this is simple - by the time you're desperate for a change, you'll probably accept the first thing that is offered for you, rather than fully considering the different options that are available. So much of career success is down to good timing, so if you shorten your job search period, you'll limit the number of opportunities that come your way, and probably cloud your judgement too.
3) Be open to opportunities
I'll let you in on a little secret - I didn't apply for either my current job or my previous one. I wasn't actively looking for either one, and in fact, I didn't even know the two roles existed until recruiters popped into my inbox on LinkedIn and told me about them (another reason why you should always keep your LinkedIn profile up to date - you never know who's watching!).
I know that so many people are distrusting of recruitment consultants or head hunters, and I'll admit that I've dealt with a fair few people who have well and truly wasted my time. But, the truth is, I'd have missed out on two totally brilliant jobs if I hadn't been open to opportunities and spared ten minutes to jump on a call with the recruiters to discuss. In my opinion, if you're serious about growing your career, it's worth putting up with the totally irrelevant propositions so that you don't miss out on the gems when they come along.
4) Trust your gut
In the 12 months prior to me starting my new job, I actually interviewed for quite a few jobs (practicing what I preach in terms of starting that search before you're ready!). The companies that I interviewed at were all really interesting, and the interview processes went very smoothly - I was even offered a couple of jobs. However, I decided not to pursue any of the roles, and the reason for that was because I trusted my gut.
All of the jobs sounded great on paper - they came with increased responsibility, brilliant learning opportunities, and in some cases, a notable salary increase, but I had a gut feeling with all of them that they weren't quite right for me. Remember that the interview process is just as much for you to get a feel for company culture and fit as it is for them to assess your skills - it's the only opportunity you have to try the job on for size before you make a big upheaval to your life. If you come away from that process with a niggle in your gut, trust it and have faith that something better will come along soon.
5) Be willing to take a risk
My last tip for finding a job that you love is to be willing to take a risk. I'm the kind of person who likes to have all the facts before I make a decision. I'm a big fan of a pros and cons lists and my mum and husband will tell you that I have to spend a lot of time going over things before I settle on a conclusion. But sometimes, all of the information isn't available and you just have to trust your gut feeling and take a risk.
Making the leap from the corporate world to a tech start up was a huge risk for me. My current working environment is very different to anything I've been used to before, my role is growing and changing all of the time and I'm not really sure what the next 6 months will hold, never mind having a 5 year plan. I could very easily have turned this role down because I didn't have every tiny detail I needed to be confident in my decision, but that would have been a huge shame. Because the truth is, this job is perfect for me right now and I would have missed out on a huge learning opportunity. Sometimes you just have to take the leap and trust that you'll figure it out on the other side.
There you have it, my top tips for finding a job that you love. Do you have anything to add?