Making a decision to change jobs is a big one. So is the actual job hunting. It’s the “work” version of vulnerability. It’s putting yourself out there and hoping that prospective employers will see the value in us and what we bring to the table. It’s the waiting for the response to each and every job application that we submit, that we know that we are the perfect fit for the role. If only they will meet us they will see. It’s living in hope whilst being exposed to rejection.
When you are unhappy in your role, for whatever the reason it can be quite debilitating and it's really hard to focus on anything beyond the unhappiness and wanting to make a change. I think we take for granted how much a part our happiness and fulfilment at work plays in our lives until we aren’t happy and fulfilled.
There are a few things you can do to get yourself on the right track when applying for new roles, that can help you to keep motivated and feel positive through what can often be a long process to find that perfect next role.
1 - So you know what you don’t want - but do you know what you do want?
I get to meet lots of you every day. You share with me your stories of what isn’t working and why. But knowing what isn’t working for you is only half the battle. It’s really important that you know what does work too. Focussing on what you do want in order to move forward is more important than focussing on what you don’t want anymore. It allows you to identify the right roles for you to be applying for rather than taking a scattergun approach and applying for everything which has a job title that matches the sort of role you want.
Before you hit apply on that job application submission, go a few steps beyond the role description. If you know who the organisation is, do a bit of research. Who do you know that works there? Can they tell you something about the culture? Do they think it would be a good fit for you. All of this will also hold you in good stead when you do get that interview too.
2 - You have it, show it.
One of the main reasons people don’t get a look in for a role is because their resume or folio just don’t show that they align with the actual role. If you know your experience is bang on, make sure that it shows in your job submission. Be specific! The job submission is the one chance you have to make an impression to get to the interview stage. If a job ad says 7 years experience in an FMCG design studio that does packaging - that is what you need to show.
**Here is a note for all the designers out there too, applying for roles. I know this one seems quite obvious - but if you apply for a role, please submit a folio as well as a CV. How can anyone assess your suitability for a design role without it. Most of the time, no one is going to chase you and ask for you to submit one, you will be overlooked for the candidates who have submitted their folios.
3 - Customise your approach
I know how much effort you put into your resumes and your folios - they look beautiful. But applying for roles is not a one size fits all. You need to tweak each of these for each role you apply for. Study the language and the key criteria in each job ad. Make sure your submission matches these. Make it easy for the application assessor to see how perfect a fit you are.
4 - stay positive
Often easier said than done, I know. Often we let the frustrations get on top of us and it carries over into every aspect of our lives. Try to stay upbeat, focus on what is going right in your world rather than what isn’t. Be good to yourself, don’t forget to breathe.
5 - the cliches!
Everyone says it, but the right thing will happen when it is supposed to. Make sure you are doing everything you can to help this along. Make sure your CV is perfect and aligned for each role you apply for so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
I know how important getting that right next role is for you. I know how life-changing the right opportunity is. It makes all the difference when you jump out of bed in the morning excited to go to a job you love with people you like, in a place that values your contribution. Work isn’t just about a paycheck, it's about our self-esteem.
I hope this advice helps and please do get in touch if there is anything further I can do to assist.