A new year signals the potential for a fresh start – and top of the list for many is ditching the current job and finding an exciting opportunity elsewhere.
Perhaps the current role has become stale, you don’t like your boss or maybe it is time simply for a new challenge in 2018 – or a combination of all three.
Job seeking can be tough, especially when you already have a job. David Whitby, careers specialist at Glassdoor UK has given us seven top tips to make sure your employment search doesn’t become a second full-time stressful job.
As part of This is Money’s interview cheat sheet series, David gives potential job seekers all the advice they need to help become the one in which you secure a new role.
He says: ‘The last thing you want to do when you get back from a long day at work is plonk down at your laptop to spend hours fine-tuning your CV, cranking out job applications and crafting tailored cover letters.
‘Often, either your work performance suffers or your motivation to find a new position does.
‘But finding a new job doesn’t have to feel like a full-time job. With a few adjustments to your process and habits, it’s entirely possible to avoid burnout – or getting caught by your current boss.’
Here are his tips:
1. TAP YOUR NETWORK
While it’s not impossible to bag a job without a reference, it has been shown to increase the chances of a recruiter looking at your CV and, eventually, hiring you if you do.
When you first think about jumping ship, start networking and let your connections know you’re interested in exploring new opportunities.
You may end up with a referral to a new position and not have to do much active job hunting.
If you don’t directly know anyone at your dream company, though, don’t despair — with the right message to the right contact, you can score an employee referral just by reaching out.
A caveat to this last rule, though – you don’t want to blast everybody you know with requests for informational interviews.
On top of that, it’s a time-consuming and ineffective tactic. Save time and mental energy by only applying to the top few companies that you think would be the best fit for your personality, work style and qualifications.
2. STICK TO A ROUTINE
Speaking of time, be mindful of your own. It’s easy to spend hours on end searching when you’re looking forward to a new opportunity – or desperate to get out of your current situation – but even if it’s exciting at first, you can quickly burn out.
Don’t spend every waking hour looking for new employment.
Rather, get your CV and LinkedIn profile up-to-date, then spend some time each day networking and actively looking for jobs to apply for.
Dedicate a certain amount of time to your job search – even if it’s 30 minutes or an hour a day.
Signing up for job alerts will mean you get fresh listings every day in your inbox, saving you time.
3. BEWARE THE WORK COMPUTER
Don’t use your work devices – computers, tablets, or phones – for job hunting. Be sure to use your personal e-mail address and store your documents on your personal devices or online.
One way to save job hunting time and avoid getting caught is to use job search apps on your personal phone.
4. PREPARE SOME GOOD EXCUSES
It may be possible to schedule interviews early in the morning, at lunch time, or later in the day.
Try to use family members as an excuse rather than pretending to attend appointments or taking the car to the garage – managers are far less likely to feel comfortable probing about family issues.
These are of course options if you have no holiday to use – or cannot take last minute holiday days.
Resist the urge to immediately accept any invite the recruiter offers you and make sure it’s a time that works for you — if they’re truly interested, they won’t mind a small wait (within reason).