Making your next career move?
3 MIN READ
Thinking of taking the next step on the career ladder or even changing career altogether?
Where do you begin?
Well, before you start firing off job applications, take a moment to read these 5 tips from career coach, Linda Beatty.
And make your next move the best move for you.
1 Update your CV
The most obvious place to start is getting your CV up to date.
Linda says she met somebody recently who had worked at the same organization for a very long time who said, ‘I haven’t updated my CV in 20 years!’
We’re all so busy working that we forget to reflect on our progress.
And then to write it down.
Linda suggests an easy way to keep your CV fresh is just before a performance review.
‘In most jobs you have to write down what you achieved over the previous 6 months or year,’ she says.
‘When you do this remember to add your key successes, new responsibilities and measurable deliverables to your CV at the same time.’
Don’t have performance reviews?
Then put ‘Update CV’ in your phone or desktop calendar for 30 June and 31 December.
2 Refresh your Linkedin profile
Employers only see your CV if you apply for a job.
But your LinkedIn profile is up there for anybody to see at any time.
‘It’s the first place people go to find out information about you now,’ Linda says, ‘so it’s very important that you keep it current.’
And Linkedin isn’t just for future employers.
Linda says it’s also very important if you want to move roles within your existing company (your colleagues, managers and HR have LinkedIn too)!
But it’s not just about listing your job titles and qualifications, it’s also about demonstrating your interest in a specialism.
If you want to develop a career in data analytics, for example, show your passion by commenting on relevant posts, sharing articles on new developments in the field, following thought leaders and companies you’d like to work for and joining relevant associations.
It all helps demonstrate an active interest in your particular specialism to the world.
3 Get networking
The third thing that Linda recommends is to get networking.
‘Don’t underestimate the power of your network,’ she says.
Some of us can be shy of getting out there.
But we already have an existing network that might be able to help us in our career.
There’s family, school friends, university acquaintances and everyone we’ve previously worked with, for starters.
Linda suggests starting by attending an event – talks, exhibitions, conferences, seminars training days – on a topic related to your new role.
If you’re brave, you might even offer to speak at an event on a subject you have experience in.
Don’t underestimate the value of actually having met and spoken face-to-face to people with similar interests.
It can lead to introductions and opportunities.
And it also gives you the chance to ask them, ‘what is it really like to work for company X?’
4 Make sure you have the right skills
Linda’s fourth tip is to make sure your skills are still relevant.
‘I would encourage everybody to do an online course once every three months, on a topic of interest to them,’ she says.
We all need to stay on top of the latest developments in our field.
Fortunately, there are now a wide range of online courses available at a modest cost or for free.
When you complete them some courses provide a certificate that you can share on your Linkedin profile.
Online training providers offer short courses from educational institutions from all over the world on a wide range of subjects.
‘And if you want to go back to college for a year,’ says Linda, ‘There’s a forum called springboardcourses.ie* which advertises free university and IT courses you can sign up for.’
5 Have a session with a coach
Finally, Linda says she would always encourage somebody to meet up with a career coach.
A coach can help you get your CV right, update your Linkedin profile, start networking and find relevant training courses.
But they can also help by keeping you accountable.
Agreeing a specific goals and deadlines with you so you don’t put career change on the long finger.
‘Where a coach can really help is by supporting you to identify the deeper things that stop you from achieving your goals,’ she says.
Are there any limiting beliefs that prevent you reaching your potential?
And what can you do to get around them?
A career coach can help you to become clearer about your personal values.
For example, what’s more important to you to make a difference in the world, to earn the highest possible salary or to reach your highest potential?
And what organisations share your values?
Even if you just do one session with a coach, it’s a good starting place.
Find out more
Linda Beatty is an Executive Career Coach with a Postgraduate Diploma in Executive Coaching from UCC.
The career tips in this article are Linda’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bank of Ireland.
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Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.