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Preparing for change: 10 crucial tips to get you ready for a job move

Before making the big decision to change jobs, there are usually a few tell-tale signs that it may be time to consider the shift. How many, if any, of these signs apply to you?

  • You’re frequently stressed, negative, and/or miserable at work. If the thought of work infuses you with dread or anxiety, it might be time to think about moving on.
  • You are experiencing health issues due to work-related stress.
  • You’ve lost your spark for your job and the daily feeling of excitement is gone. If you no longer feel enthusiastic or motivated in your current role, it could be a sign that you need a fresh challenge.
  • You have an untenable working relationship with your colleagues and/or boss. We spend the majority of our time at work, life is too short to spend it around people who are a constant source of unhappiness. Consider moving.
  • Your skills are not being recognised. If you don’t receive the acknowledgement that you deserve or other people are getting promotions while you’re being side-lined, or attempts to take on more challenging assignments have failed, you should think about exploring new opportunities.
  • Your responsibilities have changed or increased, but your salary hasn’t. Sometimes there’s a good reason for this, but if your work-load is steadily increasing with no indication of compensation, it may be time to move on.

These are just a few reasons that might cause you to begin preparing for change. Once you’ve decided to make a job move, where do you start? 

A great deal of focus is often put on the interview process, however, even before you land your first interview, there are things you can do to help you prepare for a job change.

1. Write your ideal job description

You know you want to move on… but are you clear on what that looks like? Draft a job description for your ideal role. Factor in your strengths and areas of interest, and think about the aspects of your current role that you like or dislike. Use this ideal description as a guideline for your job search.

2. Do some planning

Break down your job search into phases such as:

  • Research
  • Selection
  • Applications
  • Interview preparation

Work out what you need to do at each phase – e.g for the application phase, you’ll need your CV ready, for the interview stage, you’ll need to have done a wardrobe review – be sure to include a realistic time-frame for each phase.

3. Lean on your network

Your trusted contacts are your best source of information on prospective employers, additional valuable information sources and the most effective recruiters. You can rely on your network to give you ideas for companies to research online and recruiters you may want to get in touch with. You may even be surprised with a spontaneous referral!

4. Sign up for relevant job alerts and newsletters

Think about the best sources of new job information in your industry, and make sure you’re signed up for all relevant alerts and newsletters (insert shameless plug to subscribe to the KPR newsletter now).

5. Reach out to expert recruiters

With their in-depth knowledge of your market and of recruitment trends, a good recruiter can be a mine of useful information, about everything from salary expectations to skills requirements to job hunting and interview tips. Don’t be afraid to speak to industry-specific leaders in the field (again, we’re hinting here).

6. Update your industry knowledge  

Now is also a good time to make sure you’re on top of trends in your industry, regulatory developments, technological changes and so on. Identify a few key publications that you can trust to keep you really informed, and make a point of looking at them regularly.

Now is also a good time to start paying more attention to current affairs too, so you can be as well-informed as possible come interview time. Think especially about the impact of key news stories on your industry. 

7. Make time for daily job search

Dedicate a small set amount of time each day to your new job search. This may typically include looking at LinkedIn, checking key job sites or email job alerts and reading the latest news from key industry publications.

8. Optimise your LinkedIn presence

The greater your engagement on LinkedIn, the more visible your digital presence. Follow companies and connect with recruiters in sectors and industries that interest you. Use the alumni search tool to reach out to valuable connections. Also, look to update your LinkedIn status frequently with engaging insights and links, and post relevant articles to boost your profile views. We offered additional great tips on optimising your LinkedIn profile in our recent newsletter.

9. Update your CV

If you’ve been working in the same role for years, there’s a chance you haven’t opened your CV file too recently. Ensure your CV is up to date before applying for new jobs. Add in all your relevant experience, extra courses you’ve undertaken and other skills you might have recently developed.

10.      Refresh your wardrobe

First impressions count and a smart, professional outfit is an asset to the wearer, especially when it comes to making a great first impression. Inspire confidence in how you look and feel and give your work wardrobe the overhaul it may need.

Thank us later!

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