With fall looming upon us and summer getaways behind us, the cooling air temps mark the perfect time to clear your head and refocus on goals you set prior to the past 3 sunkissed and distraction-ridden months of summer. Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to embark upon a job search and to change the direction of your career path – but then it fell flat once the pressure was on to hit company goals for Q1 + Q2? Or maybe you simply set a goal to update your resume over the last long weekend – yet somehow, you couldn’t find the time to fit it in (we can’t blame you!)? If the job search is still on your mind but you’re not 100% ready to jump, this article is designed to help you evaluate your readiness, and provide actionable next steps to get out there if you are in fact ready to pursue a new job. Toss your excuses, there’s still plenty of time to get into gear before the end of the year!
Here at Clarity, we meet active job seekers every day, so we’ve collected some of the most prevalent themes we hear candidates talk about when we ask, “Why are you looking for new opportunities at this time?”. If one (or more!) of the following concerns are top of mind you you today, then chances are it’s time for you to substitute a care-free cannonball dive into the swimming pool with a graceful swan dive into the job market!
You’ve Hit a Plateau
You’ve addressed your concerns about wanting more responsibilities at work and have proven mastery of your current workload. You’ve proactively arranged a meeting to discuss growth within the company, yet after talking to your manager, there’s no sign of advancing toward a promotion. You’ve given it time and even asked to take on specific special projects, yet you are consistently being told, “there’s no opening in that area right now” or, “You’re so great in your current role, and unfortunately we don’t have openings in other departments that you’re seeking”. Remember: Promotions usually don’t come to you without having a conversation with management, so be sure to do that first before writing off your current job completely!
You’re Overworked and Underpaid
This concern is self-explanatory. However, much like asking for a promotion, even if you’re not after a new title, raises generally don’t come about unless they’re asked for. If the sole reason you’re looking for a new job is to make more money for the effort you’re investing, make sure you arrange the appropriate forum to vocalize this concern to the powers that be. Start by building a case for yourself so you can speak to why you deserve greater compensation, and then get to scheduling a meeting or review with management to discuss. If you’ve already done this and your request for a pay increase was denied without meaningful feedback or a timeline that crystallizes actions toward achieving one, it could be time to dive into the search.
You’re Not Mentally Present Anymore
If you’re daydreaming constantly, and increasingly disengaged with your job responsibilities, take a few minutes to think long and hard about why. If you don’t figure out where this lack of focus is coming from – and fast! – you could unknowingly be putting your own job on the line, and be forced into a premature job-search you’re not ready for. Pinpoint what’s making you unhappy or distracted, and channel all your energy into fixing it. If it’s personal, commit to taking steps toward improving the situation before you impact your job performance too much. If it’s the work itself or a toxic workplace culture, then proceed to the action items below and get that job search underway!
Feeling ready now? Jump on these action items right away!
Update Your Resume
Job opportunities can be found far away from your recruiter’s office and you never know who you’ll meet at a coffee shop or social event. If you can’t send off your resume easily upon a chance-encounter with a lead and be prepared to follow up, you could be missing out on amazing opportunities. In the same breath, when recruiters at Clarity see job applications come through with resumes that are clearly outdated or don’t contain updated contact information, we will quickly assume this candidate isn’t serious about their job search.
Make Sure Your Linkedin Profile is Up to Date
Increasingly, LinkedIn is considered just as valuable to many employers as a resume in today’s tech-fueled economy. Make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date with a professional photo and clear descriptions of your recent work experience. If you’re open to new opportunities – and chances are since you’ve made it to the Action Items, you are! – check that box on your profile. It will help internal and agency recruiters find you faster for their hottest jobs.
Scrub Your Social Media
Private companies have full discretion not to hire someone based on their online persona, and a recent study cited that 70% of employers are in fact checking prospective candidates out on social before bringing them in for an interview. Prone to Twitter storming on politics or visually reliving college frat parties via #TBT on Snap + Insta? Think before you post as this percentage is increasing rapidly! Check out the study here to also learn tips on how to put your best foot forward on social.
Select an Interview Outfit
Things can move quickly! Sometimes candidates come into our offices and we’re able to line up interviews for them that same day or the following morning. If you don’t have your go-to professional look ready to go, it’s time to dry clean that shift dress or blazer and make sure you’re ready to dress to impress on a moment’s notice!
Once you’ve taken your first steps, feel free to submit an application here and a Clarity recruiter will reach out if your experience lines up with open roles we’re actively recruiting for.
We’d love to hear from you! What’s on your mind as you prepare for and begin a job search? Feel free to email Serena, the author of this post! Your feedback helps us learn what’s most important to you! You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org