Do you often find yourself feeling apprehensive about starting a new workweek? Or perhaps, the enthusiasm you once had for your job has dwindled?
Don’t panic — this is a common experience. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center discovered that fewer than half of workers are content with their current employment. If you fall into this category, you may simply be using your job as a means to survive.
However, disengagement can swiftly lead to mediocre performance.
It’s normal to occasionally have rough days. But if your job doesn’t bring you happiness, your best course of action is to strive towards securing a job where you feel accomplished.
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8 Strategies For Securing a Better Job
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There are specific steps you can take when aiming to secure a better job.
Here are tried-and-tested tips to help you land a job that excites you and hopefully leads to a fulfilling career and company culture.
- Assess Your Skills and Interests
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Desiring a new job does not equate to knowing exactly what job you want. Randomly chasing new roles in the hope of liking them could potentially trap you in another unsatisfactory job.
If you require clarity about your career path, it’s crucial to first dedicate time to exploration and planning.
Begin by identifying your skills and interests to check for overlaps. Being realistic about the areas where your skills make you a capable candidate is crucial.
If there are significant areas of lacking knowledge or experience, seek to bridge them with certifications, volunteering, or degrees if feasible. Be sincere about the duration it might take to reach your goal. You may need to start off with a job that’s a few rungs below your ideal, but if it’s steering you in the right direction, it still constitutes a valuable objective.
Don’t forget to consider your soft skills. Explore job vacancies and roles that match your personality traits. This will allow you to articulate why you’re the perfect candidate as you progress through the recruitment process.
You might be pleasantly surprised to find an unplanned role suits your skills better than expected and brings you more enjoyment.
- Investigate Companies, Not Just Jobs
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Pursue corporations that reflect your principles to streamline your search. Hunt for organizations offering a strong cultural fit and a mission aligning with yours.
Bear in mind that remuneration isn’t the sole determinant of long-term success. A recent Gallup poll revealed that employees also value work-life balance and opportunities to utilize personal strengths.
Start with a list of companies you respect, followed by companies producing products you use or companies you follow on social media. If you haven’t yet decided what companies to target, consider ones where your friends enjoy working.
Further on, delve into researching job ads and cross-checking with reviews and press releases until you discover one that seems like a good match.
As your research progresses, you’ll be able to refine your list to your top-choice target companies.
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- Use Your Network to Your Advantage
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If you haven’t already, it’s time to forge professional relationships. While any networking contact can be useful, it is particularly advantageous to connect with professionals in your target industry and at your chosen company.
For those who are introverted or shy, you’ll need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and find non-threatening ways to reach out. This could involve volunteering for a nonprofit organization and interacting indirectly.
If you’re not comfortable with crowds but fare better in one-on-one settings, informational interviews might be ideal.
Once you’ve established a connection, maintain communication through direct networking and participating in LinkedIn groups. As these relationships develop, sharing that you’re seeking a new position becomes less daunting.
- Develop a System for Organization
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When you move onto the application phase, you’ll need a system that helps you keep track of your applications. A simple Google sheet serves as an excellent tool to manage everything.
Record details such as:
The application date
Source of the job listing
A follow-up date
Contact information of hiring managers and recruiters
- Construct Standout Profiles and Resumes
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Contrary to what you may think, when it comes to resumes, quality trumps quantity. Rather than having a generic resume, devote time to creating one tailored to each role you’re applying for.
You won’t need to start from scratch every time. Instead, incorporate keywords from the job listing into your cover letter and resume.
Take some time to research the company culture and understand the hiring manager’s needs. Use this information to build a LinkedIn and social media presence that complements your resume.
When the hiring manager compares your resume to your LinkedIn profile — and they will — you want them to find a coherent career narrative.
- Practice Thoroughly for Your Interviews
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Do you believe you perform better spontaneously? Do you handle pressure well? If so, you might be tempted to wing the interview without preparation.
However, there’s a high chance you’ll be overlooked in favor of another candidate who has done their due diligence. This is particularly true if you’re aiming for a significant career progression or transition.
Instead, make it easy for the hiring manager to see you as the best applicant. Be prepared to discuss the company, industry, and role in detail.
Gift yourself with mock interview practice with a professional.
If you know someone who regularly participates in hiring processes, ask them to conduct a mock interview with you. Even better, consult with a professional career coach to help refine your responses.
- Send a Follow-up After The Interview
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Several job search norms have changed over time. But sending a follow-up message remains an essential step.
Sending a thank-you note demonstrates good manners, and sharing or clarifying additional information can make you more memorable.
In fact, you may even send two or three follow-up emails over subsequent weeks.
In your initial follow-up email, ensure you express gratitude for their time, affirm your interest, and highlight skills that differentiate you from other candidates.
- Get Ready To Negotiate Your Salary and Benefits
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Despite the potential awkwardness, prepare to negotiate your salary. Otherwise, you risk accepting a subpar offer, leading to resentment throughout your tenure.
Understand industry standards and weigh other benefits that could compensate for a lower salary.
Flexibility in scheduling or the option to work remotely part of the time might persuade you to accept a job at the lower end of your salary expectation. If you’re eager for the position, other considerations could include PTO, vacation days, and stocks.
Regardless of what you’re negotiating, approach the conversation equipped with data and a clear objective to respectfully assert your worth.
Secure a Better Job – Swiftly
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By following the steps outlined above, you’ll advance towards a job that brings you satisfaction.
Ensure that you leave your current role on amicable terms and remember to set new objectives once you’ve started the new role.
Before long, you’ll have established a career that instills a sense of pride.