January is one of the busiest hiring months of the year. The beginning of a new fiscal year for many businesses, it inspires an influx of new positions that need filling. At the same time, January is a time for a lot of personal reflection as well, and it’s often when people look for a new career path. But even as you scan job listings and submit your applications, it’s important to consider: have you done everything you can to be the best candidate in a new career path?
Here are our recommendations for increasing your chances of being hired for a new position!
Recommendations for Taking a New Career Path
Assess your goals and motivations for making a change
Even if you’re satisfied overall at your current job, there must be a reason why you’re contemplating a change. What needs do you have that you feel aren’t being met? Some serious assessment might be in order to help you find the right fit. Consider taking a test like the DISC assessment to learn more about your leadership styles, communication preferences, and personality. It may reveal what type of workplace culture will help you flourish and contribute your best work.
Cultivate communication skills
If you’ve been at a single position for a long time, it’s possible that lately you haven’t had to discuss what you do. Spend some time creating an elevator speech about what you’ve done and what work you’re hoping to transition into. Craft a good answer to the prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” Learn the fundamentals of active listening, which can impact your performance in interviews. Having the ability to represent yourself well and demonstrate that you understand interpersonal dynamics is important in a competitive hiring climate.
Take advantage of development opportunities
Does your workplace offer opportunities to learn new skills? Sometimes these can be technical skills, and sometimes they’re more “soft skills,” which are a bit more abstract but no less important. Investing your time in development opportunities will make you more marketable to outside employers, but consider the potential outcome at your current job. More skills mean more bargaining power, no matter where you are. If you’re considering staying at your current company, development opportunities might translate into promotion, more challenging responsibilities, and a better reputation overall. In either situation, it never hurts to have more training.
Make a plan
Think strategically about how to get from Point A to Point B. Are you maximizing your opportunities to succeed? If you’re looking to change careers, are there any tasks or initiatives you can volunteer for at your current position that will eventually make you more marketable? It might seem counterintuitive to “lean in” more at a job you’re planning on transitioning away from, but in the long run this strategy might just tip the scales to make you a more favorable candidate in your job search.
Employee Development Systems delivers results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Contact us today to find out what we have done for other organizations and how we can help yours.
Photo by Alan Cleaver via Flickr