Planning for a job change – top tips

As the jobs market regains buoyancy, will this season bring a new role for you? Here are some strategies and skills to help you during a potential career transition, as well as maintaining motivation throughout your job search.

Assess your goals

View this as an opportunity to assess what you want out of work and your life, including perks like flexible scheduling or remote work. Rather than immediately falling into a job search, evaluate your last or current job: What aspects did you like or dislike? Is it time to make a change? Where do you want to go next? Is entrepreneurship an option? Create a life map of where you would like to be in three to five years. Feeling like you have more control over the situation will reduce stress during your search.

Related post: How happy are you at work?

Manage your time

Searching for a job is more than a full-time job. Sometimes it feels like you can’t keep up, and other times it feels like all you do is wait. It can help with peace of mind to set aside times to actively search, to write follow-ups, and even to wait guilt-free. Don’t let the job search take up your entire life.

Cultivate a support system

When you’re expanding your network, think beyond simply recruiters, managers or those who could help you find a role in a company. Networking also means joining with others who can help with the load of job-seeking. This may mean finding Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups or creating your own regular Zoom check-ins with friends, family or others who can help both with their own experiences and tips, but especially with mental and emotional support.

Set incremental goals

A new role or career may be your ultimate goal, and achieving that end can sometimes feel overwhelming. To help you get there, set incremental and smaller steps to achieve.

You could also pick up freelance work, consulting, contract jobs or even volunteer positions. This part-time or temporary work can help pay bills or bolster your CV while you’re searching for a permanent job. Don’t overlook these opportunities while continuing to pursue full-time work.

Work on professional development

The big picture is important, too. Beyond applying for jobs and writing cover letters, make sure to focus on your own personal progress and goals. Take time for professional development by watching videos, listening to podcasts, or reading news articles and books. Or even better, contribute to others by volunteering for a local charity. In addition to being a feel-good opportunity and a worthwhile investment into your community, volunteering can provide opportunities to develop professional skills and to network with other local professionals. Not only that, but it will look great on your CV and give you an opportunity to talk about what you’ve learned in interviews.

Related post: Why learnability is increasingly important in the job search process

Set boundaries to fight burnout

Finally, remember to take time for balance and self-care while searching for jobs. Take a lunch break in your day, walk around your neighbourhood and get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep to help make sure you’re at the top of your game. You need downtime to help maintain your mental health, and the job search will still be there when you return, more rested, motivated and focused to keep moving forward.

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