For those who have experienced a redundancy or are in between jobs, it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. This can affect self-confidence, and create confusion about what to do next.
Finding a new job can be a challenge and if this is coupled with a lack of confidence and clarity about what to do next, the fear of the unknown and the fear of change, the situation can become quite stressful.
People have been coping with change for thousands of years but it doesn't make it any easier when it happens to us.
“Nothing endures but change. Change is the only constant.” – Heraclitus
So what can we do? As a career management coach who has coached over 1,000 clients through their career and life transitions, I’ve found that many feel the same anxiety. Here’s what two of my clients have felt when going through career change:
“Suddenly I had no clear plan or identity, my networks outside [of my industry] were weak and I had no real idea of what I wanted to do next. I went at speed from being an ‘important person’ to an ‘unemployed person.’ I lost the things that I thought defined me – the status, the car, the income – and, like many people, I was wandering in ‘the mist’ a bit.”
“Going through redundancy after 35 years in a stable government job and facing the incredible unknown for which I was ill prepared left me at a complete loss. The fact that I was unemployed at the age of 52, I felt like an old woman in the eyes of younger employees. I felt panic.”
The most important thing if you're returning to the workforce after a break is to be clear about what you can and want to do.
Here are 7 steps to follow to increase your chances of success as a job seeker:
- Build your confidence by sharing your concerns with trusted friends or family who are well connected in your areas of interest or by gaining an honest, informed perspective from a career coach.
- Identify what you can do and the skills you have that are transferrable into a new role. Think about what you’d like to do next and find out what skills you need to upgrade. Get up to speed with the new technology that is now required for the roles you want to target.
- Update your resume with tangible accomplishments to prove that you are a professional who will add value to any organisation.
- Look your best, and it’s not all about what you wear to the interview. Once you know you are appropriately dressed for the occasion, ensure positive body language, steady eye contact and when being greeted, extend a firm, positive handshake when you meet your interviewer. It helps if you also keep physically fit so you have a spring in your step!
- Learn about the new job search strategies. Many roles are advertised online and, according to the latest JobVite survey 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.com to source for candidates. Create a strong online profile and manage your personal brand effectively on LinkedIn so you can be found. Use LinkedIn to expand your network and connect and then pick up the phone to reach out for a coffee catch up and gain new ideas, support and guidance from your network.
- Practice your interview technique to answer confidently when asked, “Why should we hire you?” and prepare specific examples to demonstrate your capabilities.
- Be flexible and realistic with your salary expectations. Check current salary surveys to research the market rate for any role you target.
If you need assistance of a career professional to guide you further, reach out for help. However, if you follow these steps, it will help to ensure your job search success.
Jane Jackson is a Career Management Coach and Author of #1 Amazon Australia (Careers) Bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads. Visit Jane at www.janejacksoncoach.com for more career advice or buy her book here.