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My 5 top tips for finding your next job opportunity

There is no doubt that the recent pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone, both personally and professionally. It has turned workplaces upside down and it has increased the pace of change faster than any of us could have imagined. A larger proportion of us have been purchasing items online, increasing the demand for distributers but negatively affecting an already struggling retail sector. And we have been finding new ways to spend our time at home such a reigniting our baking or cooking skills (if unlike me you had cooking skills to start with), or dusting down the old push irons.

Such a sizeable disruption can have volcanic-like effects. It has caused significant devastation including loss of life and we are already starting to see the negative impact on jobs, which is likely to grow as the furlough scheme comes to an end in October. But just like the after effects of a volcano, we can also start to see green shoots of opportunities develop from a different landscape. Furthermore, having supported numerous reorganisations over the last 25 years including downsizing, it is not uncommon that new structures lead to new job opportunities, both for employees and candidates alike.

So here are my 5 top tips to finding your next job opportunity:

  1. Think about who could be recruiting – for example those employers providing essential services during the pandemic (eg hospitals, government agencies, supermarkets, infrastructure and utilities etc) and the businesses who have thrived or seized the new opportunities (eg art and crafts, suppliers of face masks and hand sanitizers, strong online retailers, bicycle manufacturers etc). Also keep your eye out for signs of investment and growth in your area – you don’t need to look far. Just listen to the news or read your local newspaper. Here’s just one recent example about opportunities to be created within prisons. But don’t forget this will also present opportunities for others including those in construction. You can also take a look at government vacancy statistics to find out which sectors are growing or in decline.
  2. Use your personal network – over 75% of jobs are filled through networking as opposed to online adverts and recruitment agencies. Employers are less likely to spend money on adverts so a well-timed speculative letter may land you your dream job. So think about who you know and you could approach about a job opportunity, and don’t be afraid to tell others that you are looking for a new opportunity, even your hairdresser or dog walker. They may just hear about a vacancy that is perfect for you.
  3. Get social savvy – A significant number of employers find their candidates via online sites such as LinkedIn. Make sure that you have a profile that you would be happy for a future employer to see, and get yourself noticed by commenting on their posts or joining in Twitter discussions.
  4. Choose the right online job boards for you – There are an abundance of different job boards out there. Some that are aggregators such as Indeed. These pull in job adverts from lots of other job boards and may be why you start to get a feeling of de ja vu. Some job boards may be linked to recruitment agencies eg Monster and Reed, or linked to where potential candidates can be found eg Glassdoor. My advice would be to find a handful that relate best to the specific jobs you are looking for.
  5. Spend your time wisely – focus the majority of your time in the areas above as these are likely to yield you the best results.

My 5 top tips for finding your next job opportunity

There is no doubt that the recent pandemic has had a significant impact on everyone, both personally and professionally. It has turned workplaces upside down and it has increased the pace of change faster than any of us could have imagined. A larger proportion of us have been purchasing items online, increasing the demand for distributers but negatively affecting an already struggling retail sector. And we have been finding new ways to spend our time at home such a reigniting our baking or cooking skills (if unlike me you had cooking skills to start with), or dusting down the old push irons.

Such a sizeable disruption can have volcanic-like effects. It has caused significant devastation including loss of life and we are already starting to see the negative impact on jobs, which is likely to grow as the furlough scheme comes to an end in October. But just like the after effects of a volcano, we can also start to see green shoots of opportunities develop from a different landscape. Furthermore, having supported numerous reorganisations over the last 25 years including downsizing, it is not uncommon that new structures lead to new job opportunities, both for employees and candidates alike.

So here are my 5 top tips to finding your next job opportunity.

  1. Think about who could be recruiting – for example those employers providing essential services during the pandemic (eg hospitals, government agencies, supermarkets, infrastructure and utilities etc) and the businesses who have thrived or seized the new opportunities (eg art and crafts, suppliers of face masks and hand sanitizers, strong online retailers, bicycle manufacturers etc). Also keep your eye out for signs of investment and growth in your area – you don’t need to look far. Just listen to the news or read your local newspaper. Here’s just one recent example about opportunities to be created within prisons. But don’t forget this will also present opportunities for others including those in construction. You can also take a look at government vacancy statistics to find out which sectors are growing or in decline.
  2. Use your personal network – over 75% of jobs are filled through networking as opposed to online adverts and recruitment agencies. Employers are less likely to spend money on adverts so a well-timed speculative letter may land you your dream job. So think about who you know and approach about potential job opportunities. And don’t be afraid to tell others that you are looking for a new opportunity, even your hairdresser or dog walker. They may just hear about a vacancy that is perfect for you.
  3. Get socially savvy – A significant number of employers find their candidates via online sites such as LinkedIn. Make sure you have a profile that you would be happy for a future employer to see and makes an impact, and get yourself noticed by commenting on their posts or joining in Twitter discussions. Get noticed.
  4. Choose the right online job boards for you – There are an abundance of different job boards out there. Some that are aggregators, such as Indeed, that pull job adverts in from lots of other job boards (and may lead to feeling of de ja vu). Some job boards may be linked to recruitment agencies eg Monster and Reed, or built into where potential candidates can be found eg Glassdoor. My advice would be to find a handful that relate best to the specific jobs you are looking for.
  5. Spend your time wisely – please dont spend every hour available on job hunting as this will do little for your mental wellbeing. New jobs that are publicised online are normally available for at least 5 days so a few days off job hunting wont make that much difference. Also dont put all your eggs in one basket. Using the tips above to help you spend your time on the activities that are likely to yield you the best results.

If you would like to find out more, whether you are looking for support or if your company wishes to offer outplacement support to your employees, check out our services or upcoming events.

Increasing productivity through annual performance reviews

I’m guessing that at this time of year many of you are in the process of preparing for or carrying out your annual performance reviews. Determining the deadlines for review documents to be completed and pay increases to be agreed, developing communications for managers and employees to remind them of the importance of completing the reviews on time (perhaps with the threat of ‘no salary increase’ for those who don’t comply), then carrying out the reviews, chasing up and reporting on return rates.

So there is certainly a significant hike in productivity at this time of year linked to the annual performance review process. But do you get the best return on your investment for the hours you spend on it?

Lets look at an example of a business with just 250 employees. Each person spends an average of say 1.5 hours preparing for their annual review and then attends a meeting that lasts one hour (we know they can last longer). And don’t forget an annual review also involves the line manager, so you can double the time and add an additional hour to write up the review. Sound familiar? So that’s 6 hours to review each of the 250 employees. Using the 2018 national average salary, that’s a cost of £23K And if you have 5000 employees, that’s £461K. And this is only one element of the time that is invested in the annual performance review process.

And everyone loves doing it, right? No. Too often the focus is about completing a process within a tight deadline. We can lose sight of the fact that this is about an individual. So how motivational is it really as a management tool? And how many HR teams report on completion of the process, as opposed to changes in performance as a measure of success?

There are various views about the benefits of an annual performance review and I am not going to say an annual review is totally redundant for all organisations. After all there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model. But what ever your view point and business needs, there is a real opportunity to be gained from reflecting on whether you are motivating performance and getting a good return on your investment.

Adapting for the future – what does it mean for your career?

Over the summer holidays I visited London with my daughter and stayed at a hotel in Stratford, by the Olympic Park. It was certainly a far distance from the roaming fields and wildlife of Holmfirth where we live, or so I thought.

As we arrived back to the hotel I was taken by surprise to see a fox walk past. Clearly looking for food but certainly did not appear to be a stranger to its urban environment. And it got me thinking about how the fox has adapted to the changing world it lives in.

There has been much discussion about the future of work and how it is changing in response to technology. Two reports that are well worth a read are ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution‘ (World Economic Forum Jan 2017) and ‘Jobs lost, jobs gained: what the future of work will mean for jobs, skills and wages‘ (McKinsey November 2017). Both share valuable insights into the type of work that is likely to be in demand in the coming years and the work that is likely to be redundant, as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) become more prevalent in our workplaces.

So if we know the working world is changing or we have stayed in a role longer than we should, to the point it no longer offers us the same level of enjoyment or motivation to perform, what stops us from taking the plunge and applying for another role?

According to research carried out by LinkedIn, 42% of Brits said a lack of confidence would deter them from applying for a new position. It also found that 22% of the 2005 adults surveyed said that fears they may dislike a job or secure a worse role than their current job, would put them off from applying for another role.

Too often we stay in roles that have expired their use by date because it is what we know and are familiar with. Being faced with redundancy can be the only time we question what we want to do next in our careers and take action to make it happen. But just like the fox, sometimes you need to take control of your career before its too late.

Here’s four steps that you can help:

Step 1 – Decide what you want. Identify your skills, strengths, values and achievements, and what you want from your next opportunity. It is too easy sometimes to accept a job offer for the sake of it. Giving advance thought to what you want before you start your job search will help you to stay focused and find the role and company that is right for you.

Step 2 – Take a look at the market. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was 833,000 reported job vacancies in the UK between May and July 2018, 44,000 more than a year earlier and the highest since comparable records began in 2001. So there has certainly been no better time to look at what is available. In some ways it has never been as easy to see so many job vacancies all in one place with the internet, but you can feel overwhelmed about where to start. And there is a lot of research that indicates that most jobs are filled through networking. In fact LinkedIn found that in 2016, Over 70% of people were hired at a company where they had a connection. So give some thought to who is in your network and may be able to help – friends, family, past and present colleagues.

Step 3 – Prepare for and tailor your application. A potential employer wants to see if you have the skills, experience, values and behaviours that they are looking for and that you have a genuine desire to want to work for them. So make your application count. Show them that you have made the effort to find out what they are looking for and have tailored your application accordingly. And your preparation should also include questions you want to ask to see if the role is right for you. Remember to use what you did in step 1.

Step 4 – Get support. If you feel you need that little bit of extra support to explore what is important to you and plan your career, or to help you craft a CV or prepare for an interview, a career coach can provide you with tailored support so that you can be the best possible version of you and have a career that you enjoy.

The fox we saw had certainly taken control of its future rather than being faced with extinction. Don’t let others dictate your future. Take control and make a plan to create your own sustainable career.