One size does not fit all - make the most out of your next move - SEEK Career Advice

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One size does not fit all

One size does not fit all

Socks, hats, nappies and many other things come in one-size-fits-all. But careers don’t.

At SEEK we hear from people who’ve been made redundant or want to move on, but can’t find the same job elsewhere. Think positive. ‘The one’ might not be a carbon copy of your existing job.

That’s exactly what a redundant airport worker told us at SEEK. Trying to get another airport job didn’t work. “He had the ability to solve problems, and understand complex issues and should think: ‘where can I do that’?” says Pete Noblet, senior regional director at Hays. It worked and took his skills into another industry.

We often base job hunting on our technical skills. But there is more to it than that, says Matthew Callow, registered psychologist and consultant at Chandler Macleod. It’s about understanding what you did and didn’t enjoy about your job. Were the things you excelled at actually related to the role or was it how you interacted with the culture, team and location?

Were the things you excelled at actually related to the role or was it how you interacted with the culture, team and location?

We believe in thinking outside the square. The key to making the most of your next move is that six inches of grey matter between your ears. Use it to find out more about yourself, your passions, your skills, and what really makes you tick.

Here’s how:

  • Look for organisations, not jobs. Noblet advises thinking about what the organisation can offer you, rather than the skills needed for the job. “It might mean a sideways move, but if it will take you to a better place, do it.”
  • Get some career counselling. Career counsellors know how to delve into the inner you and can often find answers that you can’t see yourself. A mechanic in a supervisory role might assume that the next role is in management, says Shannon Roberts, general manager consulting at Chandler MacLeod. That might not suit his or her skills, whereas being an educator in the industry could be ideal.
  • Read more. We’re not born career experts. Career blogs, twitter feeds and books such as What Color is Your Parachute can help guide you.
  • Find a mentor. Look for someone whose success you admire. Talk to that person. We mean REALLY talk to that person and bounce ideas off him or her.
  • Write a career plan. A written career plan gives you goals and enables you to reflect on your career. Don’t underestimate the importance of this.
  • Flick the switch. You need to switch on the light bulb in your brain to use the information you’ve learned about yourself. “It’s not just transferable skills that matter,” says Noblet. Switch your brain on and consider what is really important in a job. “It can be ‘I am not making enough money’, but it is more often about other factors such as career/growth opportunities, soft skills etcetera.”
  • Take advice from the right people. Sometimes the best advice comes from the people close to you. We’ve all heard friends, colleagues and even our parents say: “you should...”. They may be thinking about what would be best for them in the same situation, not you. Widen your group of advisors.