“A rolling stone gathers no moss.” As a working professional, you’re continuously looking for that next step for your career growth. By developing yourself professionally, you can take on more responsibilities, interesting projects, earn more money, and become a leader in your industry. Planning the next steps in your career transition isn’t always clear, which is why thorough preparation is important in propelling you further for your career path.
Here are a few suggested steps to prepare you for your next career move:
The best place to start preparing for your next career move is with your goals. Think about what you are trying to achieve with this next career move. Move to a more desirable location? Change to a new industry? Obtain better job satisfaction? Or are you motivated by financial reasons? By reflecting on your motivations, you can better define your career goal.
Be specific when defining your career goals . List out all the factors that matter to you: location, function, industry, job title, compensation and then rank them by desirability. Ranking the factors helps you discover what you are willing to compromise on and what you are prioritizing for your next career move.
Once you’ve made your career goals, print them out and place them somewhere obvious for you to see everyday. This is a great way to keep them at the top of your mind and motivate you as you prepare for this next career step .
When you’re searching for a new job, it’s very likely that you will need to learn new skills or sharpen your current skillset. This means you should start re-evaluating your skillset when thinking about your next career move.
Think back to your career goals; what position are you aiming for? If you’re aiming for a role in a new industry, start developing those key technical skills by taking a course or looking for opportunities at your current workplace. And while technical skills are essential, don’t forget that many employers are looking for soft skill capabilities from candidates. For example, if you’re looking for a managerial position, then work on your leadership and communication skills.
By cultivating both technical and soft skills, you can effectively persuade potential employers that you are the best fit for the position.
A key aspect of preparing for your next career move is being able to quickly leap on opportunities when they present themselves. For this reason, you should update your resume and Linkedin profile so you can react quickly when an opportunity emerges.
When you’re improving your resume, think about how you are positioning yourself. If you’re changing career paths or seeking more leadership opportunities, tailor your resume to reflect and focus on any relevant experience that can help promote yourself to potential employers. Be sure to also include relevant keywords for the position in your resume, as many employers will vet candidates based on a list of keywords they want to see in the application.
Seeking advice from other professionals can help you better understand the position or industry you’re aiming for and what is required to get there. It is particularly helpful if you are still exploring what your next career move might be.
Be proactive when you want to meet new professionals. For example, look for career and networking events in your relevant industry, or ask friends to make introductions. Be sure to come prepared with a list of questions. Ask about other people’s skillsets, experience, and career path. When you meet someone who has a career path you’re interested in, dig deeper to find out about their motivation, hurdles they had to overcome, and advice they have for you.
On the other hand, if there’s a particular company you are interested in, search for open events held by the desired company. Once at the event, speak with company representatives to learn more about their culture, values and first-hand experience in working at the company. By learning this, you will be able to effectively tailor your job application for that company.
The network you’ve built through personal connections, networking, and referrals is a fantastic resource for finding career openings. By letting your contacts know what you’re looking for, they might be able to give you a referral. If they don’t know of any current job openings, they may put you in touch with someone who does. This will further expand your network, increasing the likelihood of you finding what you want.
You can also research potential career opportunities beyond your existing network. If you’re able to relocate, consider move to industry hubs to increase your exposure. On the other hand, if you are aiming at a specific company, don’t be afraid to send cold emails and request for informational interviews.
Following the above steps, you will be more prepared in making that next career move and reaching your career goals. You can also try referrals to help you in this process. Our referral platform can help you find the right position and company for you. By defining your career objectives, building your skillset, and making new connections in your target field, you can increase the amount of opportunities you are exposed to.