In a workforce that, on average, changes jobs nearly every three years and career paths 5-7 times in a lifetime, less emphasis is being placed on choosing a job that you intend to stay in forever. Particularly at the beginning of their working lives, young people are moving from job to job on a regular basis, defying the age-old mantra that a career should be for life. In reality, a career is more like a long, winding river that will take you in directions you never thought you’d go, landing you at a destination that only becomes visible once you turn a corner and take a plunge.
That is not to say, however, that you should not take those initial steps down your first career path lightly. The people you meet and skills you learn could end up significantly impacting your life in the long run, as well as your immediate feelings of happiness and fulfilment. To make this initial choice a little easier, here are seven steps you can take to help you find a career path that is right for you.
Take a Career Test
Career tests might seem a silly way to determine what job you should look for. After all, how could ticking a bunch of boxes on a computer program possibly demonstrate anything other than the most basic wants and needs? Who are they to say that you would make the perfect hairdresser or software engineer?
If you’re completely stumped for inspiration about even what sector you would like to work in, however, online career tests can be a great way to get you thinking about the areas in which you could feasibly work while taking your personality, experience and values into account.
The 123 Test has you make associations with various tasks and provides you with a list of suitable jobs at the end. The Redbull Wingfinder doesn’t give you specific career advice but breaks down core elements of your personality that could be invaluable when considering how suited you may be to certain careers. On the other hand, O*NET Interest Profiler provides a comprehensive overview of how your skills and interests can intersect with your aspirations. You can take or leave the results these quizzes give you, but sometimes having your strengths typed out in front of you can clarify your goals to yourself.
Assess Your Options
Whether you do this following a career test, or after a period of self-reflection, you need to take stock of your options. Write down every option available to you, and every path you would be interested in pursuing.
Go through each of the options available to you, eliminating and highlighting those that you are instinctively averse to and are intrigued by respectively. By the end, you should have a manageable list of potential routes you could take, most of which should contain a combination of your interests, skills and values.
It’s also important to research the jobs you put in your shortlist. The qualifications required by one may put you off, while the trajectory promised by another may inspire you. Read case studies pertaining to interesting fields to give you an idea as to where you could end up down the line. Having a long-term career goal may be more of a motivator for you than a short term one.
You’ve researched careers that interest you, and now you have finally settled on one or two that excite you more than any others. Now, you need to look at this list and ask what connections you have to these different careers. Do you know someone who works in that sector? Someone who could perhaps make an introduction or give you further insight into a career that interests you?
According to research compiled by Social Talent, although only 7% of applicants come via referrals, they account for over 40% of successful hires. Statistically speaking, you have a much greater chance of securing an entry level position in a field that interests you if you are introduced via someone with a connection to that employer.
Networking isn’t only beneficial for getting your foot in the door, however. It’s important to speak to people currently working in, or with knowledge of, the field(s) you would like to enter. They may have insider information unavailable online, or give you guidance as to how you might approach getting a job.
Whatever your goals, it’s worth going out and meeting people who can help you through this difficult decision with their own experiences, insight and network in that field.
One of the most useful outcomes from networking successfully would be the opportunity to gain practical experience in the area you want to work in. From the perspective of an employer, they would be more likely to hire someone with a proven interest and existing ability in their sector. From your side, you would be able to see first-hand what the day-to-day of such a job entails and decide whether or not it’s for you.
Internships are a great way to gain experience in a hands-on working environment. Not only will you have the opportunity to complete tasks similar to those you might be set as an employee, but you will make some invaluable contacts who could potentially help you secure employment later down the line.
There are lots of great internship opportunities out there, but make sure you are not being exploited. Some companies take advantage of the passion and inexperience of interns and have them work with little to no compensation, and no guarantee of a job at the end of the programme.
Another way to gain experience would be to ask someone if you could shadow them at work for a couple of days, so you can see what they are tackling on a daily basis, as well as meet their co-workers and convey your enthusiasm and initiative to a potential employer.
Find a Mentor
Mentors are an invaluable way to gain insider knowledge of an industry, as well as a potential fountain of tailored advice to help you succeed in whichever career you end up choosing. For more information on how to find a mentor, you can have a look at this Forbes article that breaks down the steps of finding and securing the right mentor for you.
Make a Career Path Plan
You’ve identified an area that interests you, researched it thoroughly, spoken about it with contacts and perhaps even secured some practical experience in that field. The next step is to create an actionable plan that lays out all the steps you need to take to achieve your professional goals. Whether this involves changing careers later in life, taking risks or going back to education to secure further qualifications, create an actionable plan that will allow you to step from one to the other. Here’s a great guide on how to structure a solid career path plan.
No one’s career path unfolds in an uncomplicated straight line. In fact, there will be jobs that exist in the future that we couldn’t even imagine in today’s society. The best approach is to have an open mind, strong initiative and the willingness to be flexible as you work towards your goals. Expect the unexpected, and never be afraid to deviate from your plan if it feels right. As they say, ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’
Posted by Clare Reynolds on 12 June 2019
Six Benefits of Working Over the Christmas Period
Six Benefits of Working Over the Christmas Period
No annual leave left? Or maybe the high demand in work has meant you’ve been requested to come in? Don’t worry, whatever the reason there are some benefits to working over the Christmas period. Getting Ahead of Work The best part of being one of the few people working this time of year is that you will have the peace and quiet you need to get things done. Catch up on work and get a head start on work for the new year. With the phone not ringing constantly and emails not flooding your inbox, it’s an opportunity to get some headspace to really get ahead of your workload. Getting a Seat on Public Transport For anyone who commutes to work this will really feel like a Christmas miracle. Having your own seat and maybe even a seat for your coat and bag is a really nice perk to working this time of year. Avoid Unappealing Christmas Parties This time of year brings a lot of nights out and they’re not always nights out you’re in favour of. Working gives you the perfect excuse to turn down any unwanted invitations for a Christmas session. Although, if you do want to go, working shouldn’t stop you. Just pace yourself and be sure to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Christmas Organised If you’re working over Christmas chances are you’ve known about it for a couple weeks or even months, so you’ll be organised well in advance. It’s a great feeling coming up to Christmas knowing you won’t be part of the mad Christmas Eve rush to buy last minute presents. Being Recognised as a Team Player Maybe you were asked to work over Christmas because of workload or because of staff demand. Accepting you have to work and coming in with a smile, will go a long way with your supervisors and colleagues. It might be fun! It’s Christmas and everything this time of year is joyful! Take the time to treat yourself and indulge. Get that Christmas latte or treat yourself to a fancy lunch or a delivery to the office. Whether you will be working or not, Sigmar Recruitment would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and every success in 2020.
Lessons Halloween Can Teach a Job Seeker
Lessons Halloween Can Teach a Job Seeker
Because it’s Halloween we thought we would have a little fun and come up with 5 ways job seekers can learn from this festive season and apply it to their job search. Carve Out a Plan Approach your job search like carving out a pumpkin at Halloween. You need to carve out your plan before you can start applying for jobs. This is the time that you decide exactly what you want to do, the type of company you want to work for, the type of salary you are looking for etc. Once you know what you want, it’s time to get your CV together. Job seekers need to be specific in their applications, so having a plan will definitely improve your application. You can’t just apply for batch of jobs and hope for the best. Know what you want and demonstrate your interest in your application. A hiring manager can always tell when someone applied without any real interest or plan in place. Do Things That Scare You Halloween is a time where we enjoy being scared and job seekers should use this same approach. Looking for a new job is an opportunity to come out of your comfort zone and try something new and that can be scary. Maybe you would like a career change, or work in a new location or just work in a completely different type of company? As a job seeker you have the ability to push yourself to new boundaries so don’t be afraid to be afraid. Sometimes a little fear is a good thing. Trick or Treat Job seeking is kind of like trick or treating. We’re not saying you should trick anyone who doesn’t give you a job but remind yourself of the concept. Don’t be afraid to knock on a few doors to ask for what you want. Kids look for sweets on Halloween and they’re not afraid to ask for it. You should approach your job search like this. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask people for what you’re looking for. Contact some old colleagues or college friends and see if they know of any opportunities. You could even approach HR managers directly on LinkedIn and ask if there are any available positions. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Be Inspired and Have Some Fun! Looking for a new job is not all doom and gloom. Halloween is a great time for creativity and so is job seeking! Get excited about your new venture and explore different options and be inspired by other people working in your field. This is a time for you to shoot for the stars. It may seem scary at first but when you start seeing available jobs that match what you’re looking for and jobs that you match the criteria for, it’s starts to get really exciting! Enjoy it. Enjoy finding new opportunities and discovering what your options are. We hope you take something from these tops this Halloween and Sigmar would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and happy Halloween.
Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency
Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency
What is the best job to apply for? Do I have the right experience? Is my CV presentable? How do I prepare for this interview? Job seeking can be daunting and it can be very hard to answer all these questions yourself. The natural inclination for many is to look at job hunting as a numbers game and send your CV to as many companies and vacancies as possible. Surely, by the law of averages, you will get in somewhere, right? This approach is outdated and will extend your job-hunt time significantly while putting you in danger of missing out on that perfect job. Using a reputable recruitment agency offers you dedicated professional assistance to guide you through the process from start to finish while offering a wide variety of benefits; CV Help Recruiters invest their time in you and your CV. Your CV is your first opportunity to make an impression with the decision makers in the company you are applying to. Therefore, it is important to go through it with a fine-tooth comb to ensure your skills and experience are a match to the specific job requirements. Recruiters are well-versed at teasing out relevant information that may correlate to the specific job specifications from your employment history. You will then be advised on how to make your CV stand out from the others, with the aim of securing an interview with your desired company. Relationship with the Company and the Hiring Managers Sigmar Recruitment has established long-standing relationships with large multinationals, SME’s and start-ups across a variety of industries. Our recruiters have a direct line to the HR departments and decision makers in the companies that we hire for. We know when the jobs are coming up, what they are looking for both in terms of specific job requirements and cultural fit. Through liaising with hiring managers, our recruiters are able to ascertain the real requirements for the job, exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. Navigating Recruitment Management Systems Direct applications are becoming a thing of the past. If you have applied direct to a company, we cannot represent you for that company for a period of 6-12 months, under their Recruitment Management Restrictions. This means that an application that you haven’t put any thought into can hold you back from applying to your dream company for several months. Further to this, it is important to note that an application isn’t role specific and Recruitment Management Restrictions could apply even if you simply create a profile on a company website and don’t necessarily apply to any jobs. If you see a role advertised that is of interest – Contact your dedicated Sigmar Recruitment Consultant to see about them submitting an application on your behalf! Feedback A recruiter can provide you with timely feedback at every stage of the process, offering both formal and informal feedback. On the contrary, a direct application can often result in frustration whereby you, being any one of a hundred applicants on that day, apply directly and hear nothing back. Recruiters have a direct line of contact to the hiring manager expediting the process. Recruiters can also forward on your thoughts on the business and interview panellists after the interview, which may be able to put you in an even better light. Interview preparation So, the recruiter has submitted your (now amazing) CV to your dream company, and you have secured an interview… Now what? You will be provided with extensive interview preparation to ensure that you will be fully prepared to wow the interviewer. Over a coffee or a brief meeting at a time that suits you, you will go through mock interviews, be provided with insights on what the companies are looking for, what type of questions they ask and offered guidance on how best to answer them. You will walk into the interview confident and ready to knock ‘em dead! Negotiate on your behalf Negotiating salary and benefits can be unnerving, so why not leave it to the experts? Recruiters spend five days a week negotiating terms, conditions, salaries and rates. Recruiters are well-versed, they know what to ask, how to ask and what is attainable. It’s Free The service that recruitment agencies provide for the candidate is free of charge. The company that hires you will be charged a fee when you start working but this will in not affect you in any respect. If you are looking to move jobs or simply want to see what’s out there contact get in touch with us by email or call. If you are coming from a different background/industry/location pop onto our website: www.sigmarrecruitment.com and reach out to any of our dedicated Recruitment Consultants.
Doing These 10 Things will make you the Best Boss in the World – According to Google
Doing These 10 Things will make you the Best Boss in the World – According to Google
Today, 16th October is officially known as Boss’s Day. It’s a significant day considering we all have a boss or we are a boss, but what we want to know is makes a great one? You can go to great lengths to hire the best team but without a great manager the team will ultimately fail. Google is acutely aware of this, so for the last 10 years they conducted extensive research on this topic under the code name Project Oxygen. The goal? Figure out what makes the perfect manager, so companies like Google could train its leaders to be the best in the worlds. The research has paid off, as over the years Google has seen improvement in employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance. Want to know what make the perfect boss? It all comes down to these 10 behaviours… 1. A Good Coach A great boss allows their employees to solve their own problems. Rather than doing everything themselves, they teach others to do the work so they can be responsible for their own tasks. Taking the time to teach staff and encouraging them to upskill makes for a more empowered staff. A great boss allows their employees grow and guides them as much as they can. 2. Empowers Team and Does Not Micromanage Giving staff the freedom to do their job is key to being a great boss. Employees need to be trusted in order for them to succeed. Robert Gibbs, Chief Human Capital Officer of NASA is an advocate for this. During Robert Gibbs keynote at Talent Summit he explained how NASA’s raison d'être boils down to the flourishment of human kind, giving NASA the ultimate competitive advantage. Robert believes in “the power of presuming positive intent”. Belief goes a long way and sometimes to get the best out of people the best thing a boss can do is to just believe in them. 3. Creates an Inclusive Team Environment, Showing Concern for Success and Well-Being Putting emphasis on building social capital in the workplace is a trait of a great boss. Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker who understands that social capital takes time, focus and energy, but if the ingredients are right, can bind human capital to achieve success beyond measure. A great boss will know that loyalty, friendship and comradery in the workplace create a shared commitment to success, something we may struggle to replicate in the gig economy. In short, being trusting and trustworthy is the basis of creating a just work culture that inspires success. 4. Is Productive and Results-Oriented The best type of boss will motivate and inspire their team purely by just working hard at their job. If a manager is lazy and their team doesn’t really see them doing much it really just encourages the staff to do the same. Having a boss who is not afraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to any given task is the type of leader that inspires their staff. 5. Is A Good Communicator — Listens and Shares Information A great boss shares information from their staff. Having a transparent boss means staff learn more and are encouraged to be transparent themselves. A great boss is a good communicator but an even better listener. 6. Supports Career Development and Discusses Performance A great boss will always encourage their staff to develop, praise them when they do well and constructively criticise when it’s needed. Sir Ken Robinson is a believer in the importance of a culture that gives us the opportunity to engage in creativity and how creativity should be encouraged in our businesses. Humans are born with endless capacities but they need to be adapted in order to become abilities. Sir Ken uses a clever anecdote about learning to play guitar to explain his theory. We are all born with the capacity to play guitar, but we don’t have the ability until we learn to play the instrument. We need to open up our employees to new opportunities to learn and adapt skills and unlock talents they didn’t even know they had. Criticism is also very valuable to employees. A great boss will always praise their staff on doing a good job but will have the capacity to explain in a constructive way when work isn’t at it’s highest standard. This kind of behaviour encourages learning and development which is a key behaviour of a great boss. 7. Has A Clear Vision/Strategy For The Team A great boss had a plan. They know where their team is, where they are headed and what is needed to reach their end goals. A great boss needs to be catalyst for the team/companies vision. When the team loses motivation or drive, the boss needs to be there to remind everyone of the strategy and keep things in motion. 8. Has Key Technical Skills to Help Advise the Team Understanding every staff member’s job is crucial to being a great boss. A great boss will appreciate the work that goes into completing tasks and is on hand with useful advice when needed. If a boss has unrealistic expectations because he/she doesn’t understand their staffs role, employees will only ever feel like they are underdelivering and when they need advice they feel their boss doesn’t quite understand the problems at hand. A boss who has the technical skills will welcome their staff seeking guidance. 9. Collaborates Across Effectively A great manager always sees the big picture. They work for the good of the company as a whole and encourage their teams to do the same. A great leader will promote camaraderie and integration and encourage everyone to come together and work on goals that benefit the company as a whole. 10. Is A Strong Decision Maker A great boss is decisive and not impulsive. They are confident in their knowledge and make decisions that they stick to. Being a leader means being brave in your actions to lead and guide others. You need to be courageousness to lead beyond the odds, stick to your decisions to be a great boss. Google have really hit the nail on the head with these behaviours. If you can promote these behaviours and train your leaders using these 10 points from Google, you’ll build teams that will trust and inspire one another to achieve success beyond measure.