Looking back to move your job search forward

As the year draws to a close, many of us use this as a time for reflection to think about what we have achieved this year and goals that we would like to set for the new year ahead. When thinking about these resolutions we tend to focus on personal improvements like increasing our levels of exercise, or venturing into ‘Veganuary,’ but it can be helpful to take the same approach and apply it to your job search.

Often when people find themselves looking for a new role, it is tempting to respond to a wide range of adverts as quickly as possible. This can feel like the best thing to do to make progress and try to take control of the situation, regardless of whether the opportunity is something that interests or excites you and without much idea of what you could bring to the role. It then becomes frustrating when you don’t get the interest you want or deserve, based on what you know you could deliver.

At Connor we encourage a different approach. Based on our experience, the first thing we do with our outplacement and career coaching candidates is spend some time reflecting and looking back, taking stock of what has been, to give a clearer idea of what you want in the future. We know that having a clear idea of where you are heading next and what you want is the best way to secure success. By taking a more selective approach and targeting roles you are really passionate about, you are more likely to create a stronger CV with a clearer message of why you want the role and evidence that you are the best candidate.

So how do you reflect on your career to help you move forward positively?

  1. Start by thinking about your career peaks

When were you at your happiest at work? When did you feel the most fulfilled? What is your proudest achievement in your career and what were the circumstances of how this came about? Think about the common factors between these situations. What was the organisation culture? What role did the people around you play in making this a positive experience? What were you responsible for delivering? These are some of the key things you want to keep in mind for your future-focussed job search, so that you can replicate this past enjoyment and satisfaction.

  1. Next, think about your career troughs

When did you struggle the most in your career? What role did you find the most challenging? When you were demotivated? It is just as important to identify the things you don’t want to replicate in your new role, so that you are clear on what to avoid. Again, look for commonality between these times to pinpoint those opportunities that aren’t a good match for you.

  1. Finally, think about how what you have identified relates to your job search

Now that you have reflected on your career so far, you can start thinking about your future career. You should have some key attributes that you know are important for you to feel motivated and to succeed, and some red flag things to avoid. Now that you have narrowed down the type of company, their culture and values, the people you want to work with and the tasks you will be responsible for, you can make sure this is reflected in your CV and cover letter, and your LinkedIn profile. Although it takes longer to make those first applications, you are more likely to be successful in securing an interview and therefore landing your next role more quickly.

At Connor we know that everyone’s career peaks and troughs are unique. That’s why we make sure that all of our candidates are supported to identify and secure the right next opportunity for them. To find out more about Connor’s outplacement and career coaching services for you or your team, get in touch using the form below.

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