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Looking for a new job, career advancement or to start / restart your career?

Looking for a new job, career advancement or to start / restart your career?
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We give you top tips for climbing that ladder...

Looking for your first job

This is exciting, but can be a little daunting! We're often told that school days are the best days of our lives and we don’t fully appreciate the meaning of this until we're out in the work place having to earn money! We need to pay our own bills, work from 9 'til 5 or thereabouts, with a break of only a hour (if we're lucky!) for lunch and - shock horror – only 4 weeks’ holiday plus bank holidays! Goodbye long school/university holidays!  It’s now time to enter the world of work with a capital ‘W’.  To top it all – finding that first (dream) job may not be quite as easy as we first though...

If you have just graduated, be mindful of the fact that labels don’t tell the full story. Some jobs might not be categorised as ‘graduate’ jobs, but in truth, they're ideal roles for fresh graduates. The world of work is evolving and new roles that may not have existed only a short while ago are emerging. (ref 1)

Returning to work

If you've had a break from the work place, re-entering the job market can be as nerve-wracking as entering it for the first time. You may feel you lag behind with technology, that your skills are rusty or that the industry you've been in has evolved almost beyond recognition.

People who've had a career break can often return to the work place with renewed enthusiasm and an unparalleled eagerness to learn. Skills gained during time away can be directly transferred into the work place; adding REAL value to a business. Those caring for children, relatives, or indeed those who have overcome illnesses often have a strong work ethic and qualities such as resilience and tenacity that will be highly valued by an employer. 

In a skills-short market, there are areas of the economy crying out for ‘returners’; it's important to recognise your value in the work place. (ref 2) There are times when an employer will be looking for part-time staff; this can suit those working around children and other commitments.

There are a few things that may ease this transition and help with your job search, including:

  • Be as open-minded as possible – there is no such thing as the perfect job and the goal at the start should be to start to build/rebuild experience.
  • Talk to people, anyone; parents, friends and past tutors. Listen to people’s stories; all this can help give you ideas that can help with your search.
  • Tailor your CV to each role you are applying for, for example, a simple thing such as stating that you are looking for a role in the industry relevant to the job can make all the difference. Getting this wrong may mean the employer won’t look past the first paragraph of your CV!
  • It's all very well to apply to for roles online, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone – a phone call can fast track you to the front of the queue and will ensure you're remembered by the potential employer/recruiter.
  • Use the internet to its full potential; research industries and companies before you apply to them and, of course, make sure you know everything possible about them prior to the interview.
  • Use recruitment agencies to your full advantage – a good recruiter can open doors for you that you might never know exist. They'll know their clients and will often know about jobs before they are even advertised. Therefore, with a good recruiter on your side working on your behalf, you will be ahead of the game. Make sure you keep in contact with your recruiter and be ready to answer your phone should they call you – clients will often want to move quickly once they have decided to recruit – don’t miss the boat by missing a call!
  • Be positive! No one wants negative people working in their office, so keep a positive attitude throughout your job search, even if you are feeling a bit bruised - fake it! It WILL make all the difference!
  • Prepare well for interviews. Again, research is key. Make sure you know where you are going, how to dress and what to take with you.
  • Be prepared for potential rejection along the way, but use it to build your resilience and view any feedback as a learning curve – it'll help with future applications and interviews.

So – you’ve done all the hard work, applied, had the interview got offered the job and now...

Don’t forget these key things:

  • Plan ahead – make sure you have an early night and plan your clothes for the next day.
  • Be punctual/early – make sure you have planned the journey to work before the first day.
  • Accept you are the newbie and don’t over step the mark and become too familiar TOO soon, but DO be a friendly face in the office.
  • Always ask for help if you need it.
  • Be prepared to find yourself tired at the end of the day – new jobs involve steep learning curves and the intense levels of concentration can be tiring.

The work place is an exciting place – a place to use your brain, challenge yourself and make friends. Whether you're new to this environment or returning; enjoy every aspect of it and give it your all. You'll reap the rewards and go home at the end of each day with a true sense of achievement