Whether you’ve been made redundant or fired or just decided to resign there is a lot you can do to make it easier and quicker to find a new job
1. Take stock of your life and career. Leaving a job gives you the chance to reconsider direction, to re-weigh work-life balance, to ask yourself whether it’s time to promote a hobby into a job – and so on.
2. Create a ‘brand statement’ for yourself as you will constantly be asked by recruiters who you are and what you’re looking for. Don’t be one of those people who stands slack jawed trying to work out the answer on the spot. What’s unique about you? What values would you never compromise at work? What’s your passion? What work would you do even if you were unpaid?
3. See employment from the employer’s perspective, not from yours. This means seeing yourself as providing a service for a customer: in this case an employer, rather than coming across as someone who is entitled to a job because you’re worth it. What problems can you always solve for an employer? No employer ever hires unless there is a problem they can’t solve without spending money on people
4. Explore your network. Do ‘research interviews’ where you ask a contact for help in finding out how people get work in their company or sector, what the trends are, what kinds of people are being sought and what skills or experience they have. Don’t ask straight out for a job – in fact don’t even take your CV to these meetings. Listen and ask for advice – and another contact. This is far more likely to lead to an actual job than applying for formally advertised jobs
5. Be prepared to consider interim and temporary work if it gives you the chance to broaden the scope of your CV and to sample life in another company or sector
6. Don’t get over concerned with job titles, for instance whether or not they have the word ‘senior’ in them – they rarely have any meaning to people in other organizations
7. Don’t get fixated on a particular salary, for instance a sum ending in a specific round number – after tax it may make little difference to what you actually take home
8. Keep going during periods of unemployment by having a job search strategy and putting a lot of energy into implementing it. Get some training in an area of interest if it would boost your skills and confidence.
9. Volunteer: this shows willingness to work even if you are unpaid – as well as commendable community spirit
10. Prepare carefully for job interviews: all the likely questions are highly predictable. Practise with a friend and listen to their feedback.
Read more on all of this in my new book Facing Redundancy: Surviving and Thriving available on www.amazon.co.uk