Stuck in a dead-end job? Just arrived in London – new city – is it time to find your dream job? Whatever your situation you need to take action to avoid getting behind on your career goals. In todays economy there are plenty of companies struggling. There are also companies growing exponentially. Is your company growing or shrinking? If you havent seen sight of a promotion in the last 2 years in you current role its time to move on.
1) Self Assessment
You’ve heard of the term ‘play to your strengths’, right? It’s true, you really have to – this ensures you are using all your positive skills and attributes. When deciding upon a career, you need to consider your interests, your skills, your personality and your values.
Are you on the right path? To find out, take this Test which will highlight your strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t take long, you will get asked a number of questions then you will be sent a report, based on your test.You may, of course, be already on the right career path and are pretty comfortable with your job and acquainted and with the skills needed – but are you fully aware of the extent of your skills?
Next, you should take a People Maps test to help you determine which careers would be most suitable for you.
If you have decided you need to change careers, it is worth taking a detailed test or working with a career planer.
2) Salary Survey
For many career swappers, salary is important. It could be the final decision. Salary surveys are extremely useful when choosing a new career. Simply, fill out a survey and you will be shown the salaries of compatible careers – showing you how much you could expect to earn.
3) Go Freelance
Just arrived in London, job hunting a nightmare? Can’t decide on a career just yet? Why not use your existing skills to allow you to work for yourself? Becoming freelance/self employed allows you total flexibility and the freedom to fit the work around looking for something more permanent or even a part-time job. Do you have any skills which can make you money? It could be anything from writing, web design, computer assistance or repairs, graphic design, film making/editing, translating, babysitting, ironing, cleaning and so on.
First, you need to register yourself self employed for tax purposes. All the information is here: Tax Office (HMRC)
The next step is to advertise your services – creating websites, placing adverts in relevant newspapers/magazines or posts on sites such as Gumtree are great ways to gain expose for your services.There are also a number of specific sites for freelancers, such as People Per Hour.
4) List Your Skills
After you’ve completed the salary survey and psychometric tests you should have pretty extensive list of your skills. Create a table in word document and list your skills. Separate transferable skills, specific skills and any personality traits. Once you have an accurate list of your skills you can use them to help you identify hidden skills in job descriptions get better jobs. But at this stage, you need to work out which of these skills you are better at and what careers would implement them.
5) Career Planning
Now you need to make a list of all the careers which are compatible with you. You’ll need to narrow them down, you can’t do them all, by crossing out listings which you would not consider and circling those which you have previously considered. Now your list should be a lot smaller and you need to start researching the careers. Check out job descriptions and employment details – look to match your skills, look for salary, education/training requirements and outlook. After this initial research into these careers you may decide that some may be inappropriate – you don’t fancy retraining, don’t want to take a pay cut or the prospects are not that good – cross out any which you feel are unsuitable.
Now you need to make a more detailed study into the remaining careers. One of the best ways to do this is by asking those who work in those industry or jobs – you can use LinkedIn for this. Another way is attend networking events for this industry and career fairs. Of course, once you’ve decided upon your new career you’ll need experience and you may have to do an internship – real hands on experience is a great way to gauge whether the career is really for you.
6) Set your goals
Setting yourself goals allows you to focus your search somewhat. Make long and short term goals.
Short Term Goals – where do you see yourself in 1-3 years?
Long Term Goals – where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
Your goals need to be clearly defined – you need to know exactly what they are and how to get there and flexible – you should be willing to bend them a little.
Once you have chosen your dream career, that’s the easy part done. Now it’s time to get your dream job.