January 2011 – the time for New Year’s resolutions.

However, if your resolution is to find a new job or different way to earn a living you need a 2011 approach. We have moved on from the days where newspaper job adverts were the starting point. Even registering with online jobsites should only be part of your strategy. Here are some suggestions to help you on your first steps …

Think about what you want – what you really, really want
As I coach clients often come to me when they feel that the time has come to find another job. And very often they tell me that they don’t know what they want to do but they know what they don’t want to do. Using that as a starting point can really produce interesting outcomes. It could be that you want to change your career completely – go into another unrelated field . Or it might just be that you don’t want to work in your current setup any more … with an unsupportive boss, challenging colleagues, poor work life balance. Try making a list of the pros and cons of your current job. That could give you the clarity you need to understand why you want to make the change.

Be brave – say it out loud
When you are clear that you must change something about your current job situation tell someone you trust and ask them to help you work through your thinking (of course a coach could help you with this too).There is something very powerful about saying something out loud to move you from thinking about doing something to actually doing it!

Review your online presence
Google yourself. What did you find? Was it what you would want a potential employer to find if they did the same? No matter how you feel about your ‘private’ online life being taken into consideration by a future employer if you have an online presence it can’t be private! So create a professional and private online profile. Linkedin lets you do this simply and effectively (www.linkedin.com). And be sure to put a link to your Linkedin profile in your contact details in any CV/job applications you submit.

Be sure you can be found
If you Google yourself and nothing comes up the time has come to take action. Increasingly recruitment companies and savvy employers are searching for potential new employees before they get to the stage of putting out a formal job advert. Get a Linkedin profile – now!

It’s not what you know …
It has never been more important to build, nurture and maintain your network. Think about everyone you know, and then who they know, and then who those people know and the potential to find someone to help you reach your goals becomes huge.

Keep an open mind
If you tell people you are a [insert your profession, job title here] – that’s what they will think you are. If you tell them that you are an excellent organiser, with a great sense of humour and ability to see even the most challenging projects through to the end then they might see how you could apply those skills to all sorts of situations in their own organisations. You might get an approach which does not fit with how you see yourself but would be really worth considering!

Going solo
Of course stopping what you are doing now and doing something different might mean setting out in your own business especially if you have a clear business idea that you have been holding close for a while. This might be a good time to do some research and take advice so that you can start planning your first – or next – step.

Practice your interview skills
It is amazing how many people tell me that as soon as they started thinking about a new job and updated their profile and opportunity came their way ( see Keep an open mind above) . You should be ready for this so polish up your interview skills. Remember an interview is a conversation with a purpose so be sure you have lots of stories about your skills and abilities to talk about so that the interviewer can get the information they need about you. Crucially you should be able to back up what you say in your CV or online profile. If you are tempted to ’embellish’ or actually lie about your past experiences – don’t!

Whatever you do – do something
Taking even a small first step can lead to exciting and interesting opportunities.

For information on coaching, preparation for interview or using Linkedin contact Jackie at Jackie@consultcameron or take a look at her website www.consultcameron.com

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