NEWS + ADVICE
Is A New Job In Your Future
Are you considering vying for a new position or promotion with your current employer?
Or is it about time to be searching for a new employer?
While you decide, now is the time to take some basic steps to ensure your career future shines.
Sit down with a blank page in front of you and dream about your ‘perfect job’. Go into as much detail as possible – the work, the scope of that work, the type of people you will work with, where the job is, what a perfect employer looks like. Review this a few times over the next week and add things that pop into your mind.
Once you have concrete ideas on a ‘perfect job’ you are positioned to figure out how to make it happen. Those steps may be simple or may require a longer term plan to achieve but you are on your way. Plus this ‘perfect job’ can guide your job search, whether internally within your current company or externally.
Do several online searches using your full name and any common nicknames you use. Be sure one of the searches is for images. Don’t tell me you’re not online. Even if you are not active on social media, you may well be online. Follow the links and see what you learn. You may be pleasantly surprised. Or, nothing like discovering someone with your name whose online presence is going to hinder any job search you undertake. But better you know in advance. If that happens to you, you want to be able to address that with the right social media URLs on your resume as well as in job search conversations.
Whatever you find online, be sure you consider how to effectively use social media to support your job search and career.
Yes, lots of folks with high-level clearances in three-letter agencies are online. So be aware of OpSec and move forward. Recruiters and hiring managers regularly look for or vet candidates on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Internal job changes and promotions are a part of any effective career plan. Be sure you are networking within your company to learn more about options and other people’s work.
- Connect with people in departments or on contracts which interest you and develop those connections.
- Make it clear to your boss and other more senior people that you are interested in contributing to the company’s future. Learn what the company offers for your development as well as what you can do to make it happen.
- Volunteer for task forces or employee social functions or join the company book club or similar groups to meet people and to increase your visibility.
- Learn about the company’s goals.
- Manage your boss effectively.
Enhance your network. Whether you want an internal option or a change of employer, a strong network helps you to learn about yourself, grow your knowledge, and improve a job search. Some people are natural ‘networkers’ but many of us are not as comfortable meeting new people. Or we only do it when we are in job search mode and that is often ineffective unless you have plenty of time.
- Reconnect with people from your past – peers, bosses, fellow students, and so on.
- Make connections to people in your career field via professional groups and online networks.
- Read and connect to authors, both online and offline, whose work you read and appreciate.
- Add connections by asking people you know for contacts in specific fields, employers, and related fields.
Once you are in contact with someone, be sure to follow-up. Ask specific questions or seek specific support/help. Most people are willing to help but wonder what is going on when you connect and then disappear.
Make yourself valuable to your connections. Be interested in them and their interests. Provide interesting content or links to them. Offer any help you can provide. Keep them in the loop if you ask for any assistance. Say thank you.
Figure out your focus for that next job. Don’t just think general job titles. Learn about yourself first and then about possible jobs. Assess what specific job you want. Check also by looking at people who have that job – do you want their demands and lifestyle?
Then assess what you offer for such a job. Do you meet all the common requirements? Do you have achievements that demonstrate you are ready for that job next? This is also a smart time to set up a job agent on ClearedJobs.net so that you see what is available, what employers are seeking, and which of your target employers is hiring.
Once you know what the job demands, you are ready to assess potential employers. As you do this, talk with people in your network and make connections to people in your field in the employers which interest you. Validate your knowledge and learn as much as you can. Be sure the target employer is actually one where you can succeed. Look at how their values and practices and probable future match up with your goals and needs.
These simple steps will keep you ready for any career steps you may make in the future. Learning and doing them early makes effective job search much faster and easier if your contract ends or you get caught in re-structuring. Ongoing research shows that people who mind their networks and careers in this way are more successful financially and in job options. Be ready for success!
Patra Frame is ClearedJobs.Net’s HR Consultant. She is an experienced human resources executive and founder of Strategies for Human Resources. Patra is an Air Force veteran and charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Follow Patra on Twitter @2Patra.This entry was posted on Monday, January 15, 2018 12:14 pm