It’s a situation that will seem familiar to many people. You’ve been told your days at your current job are numbered, and it’s time to start looking for a new one. Maybe you’ve been unexpectedly let go and you find yourself back out in the wilderness, hoping for the right opportunity. This is a situation faced by many, so take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. Luckily, there’s also a lot you can do to help yourself while you’re searching. Here are 10 things you should do while looking for a new job.
1. Sort out your money
Money is one of the biggest worries for anyone who finds themselves jobless, but it needn’t be. There are plenty of ways you can make some money for yourself (although admittedly, some of them may not apply in certain situations). Many job seekers have found £1000 loans to be of help in assisting them with getting through a month or two before they manage to find a new job, and if you’re lucky enough to have supportive friends and family, you could also ask them for help.
2. Revamp your CV
Whether you call it a “CV” or a “resume”, the document you give to employers can decide your fate in just a few seconds. Most employers won’t look at your CV for longer than that, so you need to make a strong first impression. While you’re between jobs, that’s the perfect time to work on your CV and make it look appealing to prospective employers. Emphasize your strengths and why they should employ you in just a few words; more than that and you might be passed over in favor of a stronger document.
3. Pound the pavement
Don’t make the mistake of thinking the job search should only take place online. Plenty of businesses still advertise vacancies in person, and don’t actually list their jobs on internet job search sites, so you might be missing out on important opportunities if you don’t get out there and be proactive. Handing your CV in to businesses might seem archaic, but some employers will actually value it more; it shows enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit.
4. Constantly network
Always be talking to people about your job search. You never know where the next major opportunity is going to come from; a friend could mention something offhandedly that turns out to be your next major career shift. It’s also worth attending networking events if you can spare the time, because they often have job opportunities that don’t appear on generic job websites. Don’t shut down any potential avenues of conversation and make sure to keep channels open with former colleagues as well.
5. Ask for interview feedback
If you get an interview and it falls through, be sure to ask the interviewer for feedback on your performance. It might not be much fun to listen to, but it might be something you need to hear. Whether you need to work on your confidence, your questions, or your improvisational answering skills, there’s almost always a way for your interview technique to improve, and asking for feedback is a good way to know that for sure. Employers should provide it if asked.
6. Think about a change of career
This could be your opportunity to enact that career change you’ve been dreaming of. Instead of simply looking for another job similar to your last, why not think about whether this could be the moment you allow yourself to spread your wings and change your life? If possible, speak to a careers advisor and ask them where your skills would best be placed. It’s their job to think about where you might be more useful, so don’t feel afraid to try!
7. Work on your personal branding
As well as your CV, you should also be thinking about your personal branding. This goes double if you’re looking to go freelance; having a point of contact for clients is imperative. Building a website is a good first step, but you should also have a robust presence on social media. On your website, you should tell people what your story is and why they should be interested. Showcase some of your skills, but don’t be too demonstrative; it’s good to keep an air of mystery to some extent.
8. Look into volunteering
There are so many organizations looking for volunteers right now that you’ll be spoiled for choice if you decide to go into volunteering. It’s a great way to shore up your experience between jobs and to get yourself back into something approaching the world of work. Volunteering doesn’t just make you feel good about yourself for giving something back; it can also help you build a network, as well as teaching you valuable skills for your next job.
9. Don’t hunt constantly
While you might be tempted to constantly grind when you’re looking for a new job, this would be a mistake. The fact is that you should take breaks when applying for jobs; the interview process can be exhausting, but the application process itself can also be draining and rigorous, so make sure to parcel your time. Spend a few hours each day looking for jobs, then take a break for half an hour, then spend another few hours looking for jobs.
10. Don’t give up
It might take a while before you find the ideal position. In some cases, you may never find a job that’s an absolutely perfect fit for you. Unfortunately, this is part and parcel of the career process; you may need to cycle through some more underwhelming jobs before you find the one that feels like it was tailor-made for you. Alternatively, you may find that you’re being rejected from job after job, and it can feel hopeless. The important thing is not to give up; rejection is common, and eventually, you’ll find a job that works for you.