How often do you head to the supermarket with your shopping list in hand, telling yourself that you will not veer from that specific list? Now, how often do you leave the supermarket with products that weren’t on the list?
My bet is more often than not. Why? Because something you weren’t planning to buy looked so good or an item wasn’t available, so you chose an alternative.
Most people have a similar mentality when job-hunting. I often see candidates with a set list of wants and they aren’t willing to be flexible. These candidates are the ones that struggle to find work in many cases.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have a list. A list is a great tool to help guide your recruiter when looking for the best suited opportunity. But that’s just it, your list should be a guide only.
When looking for your next opportunity as you are putting together your ‘shopping list’, keep these points in mind:
Industry - When looking at the industries you would like to work in, some people only include industries they have had exposure to in the past and therefore exclude the bulk of opportunities out there. Instead, try opening up your options by only excluding those industries that you are absolutely opposed to.
Position - When looking for a new role, I see many candidates getting caught up in the position title. Targeting your search around just a title can often leave you wanting. You may find that the position is not all it’s cracked up to be. Instead – target the duties and responsibilities involved in the role. Doing this allows you to look outside of your “shopping list” whilst still getting everything you want out of the position.
Salary - We all agree it’s nice to get more money when you go into a new position. It’s an added bonus for us recruiters to be able to get it for you too. Having said this, not all businesses have the same budgets. You may be potentially excluding a role that is perfect for you because it is $2.5K less than what you wrote down on your list. That is less than $50 per week before tax. Is that $50 worth missing out on an amazing position, especially if it’s with an organisation that offers future growth opportunities?
Be realistic - This is the most important aspect when looking for a new opportunity. Most positions out there do require experience or transferable skills. If your career is built on digital marketing for example and you are targeting a legal secretary’s role, it’s going to be nearly impossible to facilitate such a change without transferable skills or relevant study. If you want to completely change your career, you need to be willing to put in the work to get there.
Thinking seriously about these points will help you and your recruiter build a better relationship as you progress along your job-hunting journey. Next time meet with your recruiter, keep these in mind and have an open conversation. You may suddenly find that you will have a lot more opportunities presented to you.
‘Shopping lists’ are not bad. In fact, they are very useful for us recruiters. You just need to be flexible. If you learn to swap some ingredients, you may make the end result a little sweeter!