Finding the Next Gig
It is common to think that the most difficult job hunt will be finding your first gig, but the difficulty continues throughout your professional career. When you are looking for your first job, you just want the basics: Good opportunity, enough money for rent, and something that makes your parents proud when they say it out loud. While the next job search is easier because you know what to expect, it also presents some difficulties since you now have expectations for your professional future. Remember, your next job should be something that advances your professional aspirations. You are no longer an entry level worker; therefore, you should expect more responsibilities and authority in the workplace.
Now that you been working for a couple of years, you also understand your wants and needs from a job, a manager, and a team. What kind of manager do you work well with? What types of team members are you looking for? What company culture best fits your lifestyle? The questions can be endless. So let’s break things down to make it easier, shall we?
1) Make A List (And Check it Twice): You actually need to make a couple of lists. Your first list should include all of the skills you have learned and your strengths. (You can use this list to beef up your resume). You also need a list of the pros and cons for staying with your current organization. Is it possible to get the next promotion at the company you are working at now? Do you need to look externally? Your last list should include all of the things you want in your next job such as more money, bigger office, stock options, more responsibilities, etc.
2) Send The Official Notice: No! Please do not contact your manager and tell him/her that you are looking for other employment opportunities. But put your friends and family on notice! Let your close circle know that you are searching for the next opportunity. Make sure you only tell those who can keep a secret. Your network is a great resource as they may know of positions at their organizations or positions at other companies.
3) Prep The Power Suit: Everyone has one and if you do not, get one ASAP! This is the one outfit that makes you look amazing but not “I am trying too hard”. It is perfect for any interview. Take it to the cleaners for cleaning and steaming and hang it in the closet. If you are serious about finding a new job, then interviews will start flowing at any time. You want to make sure you are ready at any moment.
4) Get Your Resume Checked: I have said it before and I will say it again, you can never have too many friends that work in Human Resources departments! Many HR people spend their days dissecting resumes and getting feedback from hiring managers. These people know how to separate a great resume from a stellar “let’s call this person ASAP because he/she looks like Jesus on paper” resume. Ask your HR buddy to look over your resume before you start sending it out. They can be very helpful. Fun Fact – Many HR people have friends and associates in HR departments at other companies. Maybe your HR buddy, can connect with you other HR people in your organizations of interest.
5) Start Sending: Start sending your resume to every job in your interest area! The more you send, the better the outcome. Remember, that not all job descriptions are created equal. Just because the description says you need 8-10 years of experience, does not mean they refuse to hire someone with less. (My first job had a description that required 8-10 years of experience and I got the job with 0 experience on my resume.) Apply, apply, follow up, and then apply some more.
Happy hunting and keep your head up! The search takes time but with determination and networking, you will receive the outcome you deserve.