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Making tough career decisions

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments

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I think it’s fair to say we have all experienced having to make a tricky decision regarding work. Be that an internal move or promotion within your current company, or expanding your career into a new organisation. Making these decisions is something that certainly should not be taken lightly, however that decision should be made as easy as possible to reach your conclusion and course of action.

As a recruitment professional, I have to make tough choices every day. Although, I sometimes forget that my candidates also have to make multiple choices throughout the recruitment process. I’ve spent the past few years trying to understand how my candidates make decisions and have come across multiple ways and ‘rules’ that will make those strenuous decisions less laborious, and more importantly help you come to an answer more immediately!

Ask questions

Make sure you have all the available and necessary information you need to reach your conclusion. This is one of the most imperative factors in helping you think, decide and outline why a move is right or wrong for you. If you are working with an agency make sure your consultant gives you ALL the information you need to make your decision. Be that a job spec, holiday and sick pay information or a part time break down of your salary. Without this information, a lot of people start to make presumptions and make their decision based on information they just don’t know is correct!

Time

As mentioned previously, some of the decisions my candidates have to make are substantial and will drastically alter their current lifestyle (for the best) and thus I understand people wanting to take their time. Although this is the case, too much time can be a bad thing. I’ve experienced many situations where I personally have taken too much time to decide and over complicated the process! If you start to spend more than a few days discussing and thinking about an opportunity then you can start to come up with objections that just don’t make sense and would not normally affect one’s ability to come to a conclusion. Weigh up your options; spend a day or two speaking with family and friends. Make the jump or not, sometimes you have to take a risk to forward yourself.

Discuss

One proven, and well wrote about technique is to discuss! Take some time out to speak to a colleague or family member about the opportunity you are considering. You can find out a lot of things by simply talking about the job to someone – specifically those whose opinion matters to you. Even if your co-workers, friends and family have concerns about your job move, when speaking to them you will start to see yourself either agreeing with them or pushing for why it is the right move for you! You then have your answer.

Agencies

If you are working with a recruitment agency, respect the time and effort the consultant is putting in to find you specific and detailed vacancies that match your criteria. Try and not manage the process yourself, but always push your consultant to keep you in the loop regarding changes to the process, offers and other extra details. Make sure you know all the details you need to know in order to attend an interview and more importantly treat the agency as your friend – not foe. This is such an important part of the recruitment process and without your patience, respect and time a consultant will not be able to provide you with necessary advice regarding your next job move.

I hope this gives you some more insight into individual decision making, but also the recruitment industry and how best to use an agency.

If you have any other ideas or thoughts on this, I’m more than happy to hear them!

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Can you learn to love your job?

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments

I recently was asked by a candidate of mine “Why I do you work so late? Are you crazy?!” The person asking me couldn’t figure out why I would ever want to work long hours, work some unpaid Saturdays and spend a lot of my time in the office. My reply sounded something like this “I love my job, I don’t actually have an exact answer for why I work late, but I enjoy what I do and never feel begrudged about turning up for work in the morning. It all feels very normal.”

I’m definitely not saying you have to be a workaholic to love your job. That’s just my personality! Although this is the case, can you really learn to enjoy a job you don’t enjoy?

I think it’s fare to say most people have been in roles they really dislike, but think they should ‘learn to love it’.Personally, I think you should always give your job a good amount of effort and try to get engaged and excited about it. If you can’t, then you probably need to evaluate where the problem comes from. Is it a management problem, office politics or a horrible working environment? Perhaps it’s just you and this current job role really isn’t for you. Maybe you can’t learn to love this position?

I have conversations like this with my candidates on a daily basis, and it really is hard to give advice. I’m obviously not the person doing the job, and I can’t specify as to why they are currently not enjoying their role. I want to make sure my candidates are making the right decisions for them and therefore I always ask the following questions and try to ascertain what advice to give:

1.) Have you discussed your situation with your boss?

2.) If yes, have they subsequently made any effort to help you, and retain you in their organisation?

3.) Have you spoken with your colleagues to see how they feel?

4.) Do you find real value in your job?

I normally encounter a variety of answers to all the above questions. I normally advice my candidates to make sure they do all the above to see exactly where they stand with their employer. If their boss hasn’t tried or hasn’t taken any reasonable action towards sorting the problem, then I normally suggest the candidate looks at their options with work and explore how I can find them a position that will genuinely improve on their current role. In all honestly, the company you work for is your choice. You applied for that position however long ago, and thus must have had a reason to want to work there. If that reason has been removed due to a variety of factors, then why not find that reason again somewhere else?

You could probably find reasons to stay. You can either continue to become bogged down in your role, or find something more exciting and enjoyable. The decision to do one or the other is ultimately in your hands – so make sure you make the best decision for you!

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Why it’s important to take a risk

dan 01/06/2016 0 comments

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How often do we actually take a risk in day to day life? Personally, I follow the same routine day in, day out. I go to the coffee shop next to my office, pick up my cappuccino and spend half an hour before work contemplating what I need to do that day.

I’m sure most people who read this will be in a similar situation to me. It happens at work, the weekends and when we meet friends and family. After all, people like to have a routine – no matter how small.

When was the last time you changed what you do? Be that with your morning routine, with your weekend meeting place with friends or even with your career.

Taking a risk, and changing what you do, are especially important in your career. Most people I speak to are really comfortable in their current position. But why be comfortable when you can have something that challenges you every day and gives you progression in all directions?

When my candidates consider a move to a new company, I usually get the following objections:

  • I’m really comfortable
  • I don’t know if moving will work out
  • What if I’m not happy after I move?
  • What if I don’t get on with my colleagues?

You’re never going to know if a new company will accept you, help you progress and move forward.

Although this is the case, how are you going to know if you don’t give it a go, and take a risk?

You won’t.

You can never be certain about anything, and if you don’t commit and take a risk on occasion with work – how are you ever going to know if something better is on the horizon?

If the job fits, and it’s a genuine improvement, take it! Changing your job is similar to moving house. You don’t know who the neighbours are. You don’t know the area. But you move in anyway.

Look at your options. Take the risk. You will never know if you never try.

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