Planning Your Career & Securing Your Next Role

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January 2020

Written by Adam Richardson (adam.richardson@arresourcing.com), Managing Director and Owner of AR Resourcing. Adam has 20 years’ experience recruiting professional and technical disciplines across the built environment industries.

Even if you don’t have a vision of what you want to be doing in fifteen or even three years’ time, creating a career plan will improve your career satisfaction and wider happiness. Most of us spend 40+ hours a week working and thinking about work so it is worth investing time into planning what we are trying to achieve with that time as failing to do so can leave us drifting and rudderless.

WHY YOU SHOULD PLAN EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

Developing a vision of what you (might) want to be doing in five years’ time will give you a sense of control over your destiny while setting targets and objectives will give a feeling of progress. In contrast, being reactive or passive about career development leaves many people we speak with restless in their role and, in many cases, because they didn’t try to control their own destiny, with regrets as their career progresses (or not). 

Planning is not something to fear – you can always change your mind and your career path but by planning you are more likely to avoid dead-ends and unsuitable choices.

DEVELOPING A CAREER PLAN

Create a vision of your role in five years’ time (type of work, benefits, location etc) then work back to map out the timescales and path that will maximise your chances of achieving that end goal. To facilitate this process find role models within your existing network or on LinkedIn and analyse their career progression as well as considering how to gain the skills and experience you need to become qualified for the role you ultimately want. Your recruitment consultant will also be able to help you understand the different paths open to you – after all it’s what they do day in, day out.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NETWORKING

The more you build your professional network the better you will understand what different roles involve, what you will enjoy and what it takes to get to where you want to go. Furthermore, the better networked you are, the easier it will be to achieve your objectives. These contacts may also prove useful in securing your next role.

SECURING YOUR NEXT ROLE

Having mapped your career path it is time to identify and apply for roles that will enable you to take your next step. Approaching this in the right way will save you time, as well as avoiding that feeling that your CV is simply disappearing into a black hole.

Recruiters and hiring managers even for specialist roles can review 10, 20 or even 30+ CVs per role and may scan rather than “read” CVs when making an initial long list of candidates. The candidates that immediately stand out tend to be those who tailor their covering letter and CV for every application ensuring it is obvious their skills and experiences correspond to the job description. While tailoring each application takes a little extra time, the impact on your success rate will be significant. 

Creating a master CV that contains all of your experience and qualifications logically structured and neatly formatted will minimise the time you need to invest applying for roles. Refine the master CV so it is faultless, then simply adapt it for every application by removing less relevant sections and detail depending on the job description. While your instinct may be to tell a prospective employer everything about you, in reality the less information is on the page the more your relevant experience and qualifications will stand out.  

Most candidates find that registering with between 2 and 4 recruitment companies is the most efficient way to apply for roles. Between them, assuming you choose specialist recruiters, these consultancies should cover a significant proportion of the market. The problem when applying via job boards is that most roles will be advertised on multiple jobs boards, often by several recruiters. This can mean that having spent time identifying and applying for five roles you have really only applied for one. It also means that you can quickly find yourself on the databases of multiple recruiters and lose control of your CV if any of them are less than ethical.

KEEP IN TOUCH WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE JOB HUNTING

Keep in touch with your recruitment consultant even when you aren’t looking for a job. We are happy to provide you with advice throughout your career and the better we understand what you have achieved and what motivates you as well as your career vision, the better we can support you in achieving your potential. Furthermore, it means that if we get a role that meets your short or long term goals then we will be able to sound you out.

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