Lockdown got you thinking about your career? 5 things to ask yourself before applying for your next job

Lockdown has provided us all the opportunity to reflect on what is important to us — to think deeply about what we have, and what we might like to change. Starting a new job, and possibly a new career, may well have been part of your reflection.


The prospect of significant change can be quite confronting. We wanted to share five questions to ask yourself so that potential feelings of confusion and overwhelm are replaced with confidence and excitement.


1. Why am I looking to change roles?

Before you set out to start your job search, be sure to reflect on what has prompted you to change roles. Is it something that can be resolved with your current employer? If so, resolve it and avoid the elongated job search process that will only lead to you staying where you are. Beware of counter offers if you decide to look elsewhere.

Has reflecting left you with a solidified reason for moving on? Then get the ball rolling and start today, as you’re only treading water by staying where you are.


2. What is important to me in my next job?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when starting your search. Take a moment to think about what the most important elements in your next role are. Ideally write them down and keep them in the forefront of your mind when you commence your job search. Ensuring that your next move is a sustainable one and that your new position meets your career motivations is crucial. The last thing you want is to take a new role only to find that it’s not really what you want nor the direction you want your career to go. Measure twice, cut once.


3. How much am I worth?

While salary isn’t everything, it is often a key ingredient to feeling recognised for your work. Before starting applications, do some research to ensure you know your current market value. You might be surprised at how the market has changed since you last looked for work.

There are a few ways you can do this, such as reading the PACE Survey or talking to an experienced recruitment consultant. It’s important not to pitch yourself too high, but you also don’t want to pitch yourself too low. Knowing your current market value will give you confidence and clarity when answering “What salary are you looking for?”.


4. Have I got everything up to date?

Once you start your job search, you don’t want any unexpected interruptions or delays to the process. Be as organised as you can in making sure you have everything you need ready to go.

  • Update your CV and ensure it’s up to date and reflective of your career to date.

  • Ensure your LinkedIn profile is current and accurate, comprehensive in its information, and reflective of your professional brand.

Give your referees a heads up. It’s unlikely they will be contacted without your consent, but it is always a good idea to reconfirm at the start of the process that they are still happy to provide you a strong reference. Attention to detail is important. You want to ensure that the information is correct and that your CV matches your LinkedIn profile.


5. What’s my plan of attack?

Find the perfect job without a plan is like trying to get to your destination without a map. The journey can be stressful and elongated if the plan is unstructured. Equally, the process can be an enjoyable and efficient one if it’s well planned. Allocate time to apply for jobs, have conversations, interviews, etc., so you don’t feel like you’re constantly having to squeeze them into your day. If you don’t know where to start, or want some guidance, talk to a recruiter, and let them manage the process for you.

 

If you’ve started getting itchy feet and want to see what else is out there, now is a great time to explore the next chapter in your career. There is an array of job opportunities in the Victorian market. Make sure you’ve set yourself up the best you can so that, if you do decide to change roles, the process is an enjoyable one and you land your dream job.