In early January – when I found out that the theme for the February edition of the 3rdi magazine was to be “What will 2012 bring” like many people I was thoughtful about the seemingly endless bleak forecasts that made up the news stories.
But even though the unemployment figures have made grim reading I have had a steady stream of enquiries from people who are going ahead with plans to change jobs or even careers.
You might think that this is a crazy decision in the current climate – or maybe courageous – but for some holding on until things get better is not an option because things might not get better for a very long time.
Here’s a couple of pieces of advice I would offer anyone who has made that choice. However it would equally apply to anyone on whom the change has been imposed.
1 Work on your network
Everybody should be doing this – all the time. But if you have never before seen the value or you have let things slide now’s the time to put in some effort.
But I want to be really clear here. This is not about adding numbers to your LinkedIn contacts or more Friends of Facebook . Now is the time when you need to focus on getting to know those people. Finding out about them – what makes them tick, what they love to do, what interests you share , who they know that you could get to know too .
It’s not about going to networking events where you gather business cards and then put them in a pile on your desk. It’s about arranging a follow up chat on the phone, to spend some time over coffee or to reconnect before the next such event.
The people with whom you have a relationship are the ones of whom you can ask a favour. I recall a scene in the wonderful series Mad Men where one of the main characters Roger Stirling has just lost a major contract that could cause the business to go to the wall and he is calling everyone in his Rolodex in an attempt to win some new business. Suffice to say that the reponses of “Roger who” told us all we needed to know about how much time he had spent paying attention to any of them.
Don’t be like Roger
2 Make sure Google can find you
When was the last time you Googled yourself? If you have never done it – do it now. What did you find? What do you mean you were not on the first couple of pages of results?
That pretty much makes you invisible to recruiters then doesn’t it?
In 2012 we all need to ensure that we have a professional online profile. The much talked about but hard to pin down “Hidden Job Market” means that some organisations look for people they would like to hire before they ever go down the job advert route.
But recruiters are also using searches of LinkedIn for example to refine the pool of potential candidates.
And there are all sorts of issues about your private life being private but if you owe it to yourself to ensure that what you are putting out publically online while you are looking for a job would not jeopardise your chances of being considered.
So – if you do make that job or career change in 2012 be sure to share that news with us to inspire those who are maybe a bit less courageous than you!
Why not take a look at www.facebook.com/speakupforyourself for regular hints, tips and links – and add your own comments so that we can hear about you too!