Career Tips in the Current State of the Industry
Article by Deirdre O’Donnell, Working Smart Ltd.
First let me say that it is not all doom and gloom as confidence appears to be resurfacing and I am optimistic for recruitment growth in late Q1/Q2 of 2016.
- Work hard – put the hours in – engage with your peers and managers – gain their respect and trust.
- Broaden your experiences and skills – be proactive in getting involved in project areas that maybe outside of your current remit or projects that are key to your Company. Become indispensable!
- Strengthen your exposure to technologies – find out what your Company has and how it is used within workflows. The more technically equipped you are the better.
- Seek a mentor – identify one or two key players within your organisation who have skills and experiences that would add value to your offering – seek them out and outline your “Mentoring Plan” (e.g. 1-2 hours a week, one –to –one, email, phone, webinars, topics to be covered, objectives…). Then get buy-in from your direct manager for time and your mentoring proposal. This needs to be driven by you – define what YOU want out of it and make it happen.
- Be proactive in raising your profile within the industry through networking e.g. attending conference/trade shows etc. Many are free to unemployed or at reduced costs. Follow up with contacts made and maintain line of communications.
- Produce well written CV and cover letter – check out the Working Smart web site – lots of good info about how to do, and prepare for interview.
- Research potential companies of interest – do on a regular basis for jobs and projects they are involved in. Sign up to newsfeeds. The more informed you are going for interview the better you will be perceived.
- Collaboration with industry – identify players of interest– see if you can collaborate on research, writing a paper, or working on a project – potentially for free so you can gain some experience.
- Further Training – Many training providers offer a limited number of places for unemployed. Others do if they have late capacity. Check out some of the major training providers and societies and get registered for alerts re free training.
- Further Education – it may be a good time to consider doing a Masters or postgraduate research with industry players. There is not a lot of sponsorship around at present but if you tailor your research you may entice one or more players to get involved and support you.
- Consultancy – consider the implications of going alone (e.g. Limited Company, Self Employed) or teaming with likeminded colleagues to form a Partnership. Identify your niche/unique sales proposition and utilise your previous contacts for marketing.
- Mentoring – seek out industry gurus who may be willing to mentor. This could be retired or semi-retired personnel who share your passions.
- Be flexible – show willingness to learn, develop and be seen to put the hours in.
- Be mobile – if you can travel or works overseas make sure your manager, HR etc. know this. Seek out these opportunities especially if they will widen your skills/experience and provide greater job security.
- Be financially astute – Don’t over price yourself in the current market – know your worth but appreciate that there are lots of people seeking work.
- Save for a rainy day – regardless of current position – this is a cyclical industry and at some stage in your career you may personally experience a downturn.
And finally take ownership of your own career – The skill shortage will be even more prevalent as we have witnessed a lot of our experienced people leave or retire of late.
The upturn will come, so be prepared for it!