Ask James Caan – Issue 75
The group has been host to a wide range of discussions this week, namely the benefit of transferrable skills, how to find ‘hidden jobs’ and of course, the ongoing debate of the candidate/recruiter relationship.
Next week will be the last of 2011’s columns before returning in January, and so I thought I’d use this week’s column to share some of the New Year’s job hunting tips I’ve accumulated recently through my various commitments.
The New Year signals a fresh start for a lot of people. It becomes a time of reflection and renewed commitment to do better for ourselves; to re-think a job strategy or re-focus a career direction.
What will you do differently in 2012?
I believe you should prepare to turn a challenge into an opportunity to gain competitive edge.
While a period of economic turmoil does offer opportunities, you should be realistic with your expectations. We all tend to make sweeping New Year’s resolutions, so instead, try treating this year’s resolutions like a ‘to-do’ list of attainable goals.
Think about the sector you are in or would like to move into. Whether you’re a school leaver, a graduate, returning to the workplace after a break or just looking to change companies – you need to clarify that this move is the best one for you.
Once you’re clear in your mind, you can approach the hassles of the job search with a positive mindset, which brings me onto my first point.
You might be forgiven for thinking that trying to find the job of your dreams in the middle of a turbulent economic climate could be the worst of all possible times. And whilst it is true that the employment market has been under stress, I really do think it’s your attitude not your aptitude that determines your altitude.
When job hunting – as frustrating as it can be – it is paramount that you remain positive. Your attitude can make all the difference between a job offer and a job rejection; nothing kills an opportunity faster than negativity.
This year we’ve seen one of the most important stages in a successful job search campaign is networking. Your sole aim is to reach the person – the decision maker – who is going to offer you the right job.
Next year, get creative with your approach and ask the questions that will get their attention. Don’t shy away from attending networking events or taking someone up on the offer to look at your CV: take every opportunity to meet new people in your field.
And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, take the time to reflect. If your job search has been taking a while, you may want to ask yourself – what is it that is putting off employers? It’s easy to displace the blame elsewhere, everyone does it, it’s human nature; but try 2012 with a fresh pair of eyes – be critical of your performance.
What New Year’s resolutions will you commit to when job seeking? If you’re planning to take a course, brush up on your telephone interview skills or change industries, why not share it below and see what others are planning to do.
Next week I’ll be sharing with you my review of 2011. If you have a job hunting tip or development you’d like to include, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be included.