Even in challenging economic times, whether you are currently working or looking for employment, time spent reflecting on how you can renew or revamp your career is always time well spent.
Here are a few pointers from my experience as press/media relations officer to help you on your way:
- Review your CV you will need a tailored version for each application, but even when it’s done, keep reading and tweaking it in tandem with the job advertisements. Using the right phrasing can make the difference between being called for an interview or not.
- How does your online profile represent you? Look at your recent tweets and Facebook status comments to make sure you don’t come across as overly rude or debauched. You might need to delete some comments and tidy up your profile, at least for a while.
- Get networking! You may not have the money or the energy to be socializing right now, so look carefully at what you are invited to and try to go to at least two a month. Don’t try to crack a nut with a sledge hammer; a subtle approach is usually preferable as the industry can be small. So handing round your CV is a no-no, but discreetly handing out your card with a smile and suggesting you are interested in staying in touch is about right.
- Work hard. You may have already left your current employment in your head but you will still need a reference and you will also need to be able to talk to recruiters and employers about what projects you have been involved with recently. Take an active interest in what is going on in other parts of the company, ask to help on new projects.
- Act up. If you are an account manager with your eye on a junior account director role or a press office assistant looking for promotion, offer to temporarily take on projects outside of your role or responsibility. This is about your learning and development, so don’t act like you are doing someone a favour! A positive attitude helps you get there faster. There is always something you can learn, if you look around, and if you don’t find the mental challenges you are looking for in the workplace, find them online, or ask friends who work in other organisations or do some online research.
- If you can’t move up, move out. Sometimes it is easier to move into a new organisation, but it’s useful to explore all of the options available to you where you currently are. New is not necessarily better. If moving on is your best option, make full use of that in-between period.
- Whatever stage you are at in your career journey, you are also on a personal journey , so take the opportunity to honestly appraise yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of your skill set and your personality. You owe it to yourself and the people you work with to be honest.
Good Luck – and let me know how you get on 🙂
You might also like my ‘Freelancers’ Survival Guide’ http://tinyurl.com/6ysxk74