It can be a tricky thing finding the right job. We spend so much time in work though, it is essential that we find something that is the right fit and supports the foundation of our happiness. We are so much more than the 'bit' that turns up for work but if that 'bit' isn't happy it can have an incredibly negative effect on our wellbeing.
So how do we blend all aspects of our life and ensure that our work and our career supports our happiness?
Get your needs met
The first thing that is essential to consider is getting your Essential Needs© met - the foundation stones to our psychological emotional wellbeing. In summary these are:
- Feeling in control of what is going on for you (not controlling others!)
- Feeling safe (in work that means free from things like bullying and harassment)
- Having a good connection with others (including great communication!)
- A sense of status and feeling valued for your contribution
- Feeling competent and able to tackle what comes your way
- Mental stretch and creativity
- Privacy - time to integrate things and having time out (so if work is all consuming you might not be getting time out)
More than two or three of these in serious levels of dissatisfaction is when we start to feel low, maybe a bit stressed, or just downright unhappy. Obviously we need to consider how we get these needs met across all aspects of our life but for now consider your current job - for each of the needs, rate out of 10 how satisfied you are (where 10 is as good as it gets and 0 is as low as you can go). If you don't feel happy in your current role and have rated some of your Essential Needs© as low, your answers will give you an indication of what you need to work on and improve. Set yourself some goals to put it right. If you are low on most of them, then maybe now is the time to look for a different role!
If you have been made redundant and are feeling low, understand that your needs have been hit hard as it something that someone else is doing and you are out of control. You can take control back by getting things together and getting yourself out into the recruitment market.
Match your Values
The basis of how we connect and communicate with people is based on our personal values. Have a think about the people that you get on with and those that you don't - chances are the people you think positively about are those that have shared values.
Consider yours - list them out and put them in order of priority. We don't often think about them but when you really connect with what they are - then you will understand why you get on with some people and not others. For example if you have a value of respect and you are around people that are aggressive or derogatory - then you won't connect with them.
Whilst your personal values provide the basis of how you communicate and connect with people, they also form the basis for how you 'connect' with the organisation that you are working in. In your current organisation or one that you are considering going to work for - ask 'what is it like to work here'. If the organisational values don't provide a good match for yours then the chances are it won't be a great place for you to work.
A great CV
If you are looking to make a move you will need a great CV. Keep it to a couple of pages and a format that makes it really easy to read. Sometimes less is more! Provide a brief summary of each role and then bullet points of your achievements. Demonstrate your successes and the improvements and changes you have instigated. Organisations need people to perform, achieve and be energised to succeed - so demonstrate who you are on paper so you can get the invitation to the interview.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
I have been interviewing people for over 20 years, yet I never cease to be amazed at the lack of preparation from some candidates.
Research the organisation you are looking to join so you can engage in discussion. It depends what role you are applying for but be prepared to give your thoughts and opinions on what the main issues for the role will be.
Give thought to your previous experience and consider examples that you can use to demonstrate your competence. You may be asked questions like 'what would you do if ...', but most interviewers are there to see if you are capable of doing the job to the right level. To demonstrate that you will be asked for specific examples.
Most organisations will have their own competency framework so find out what it is if you can. If you don't know consider your examples in such things as team working; customer / client orientation; personal effectiveness; a focus on results; leadership and strategic / commercial thinking. Remember how you communicate will also be assessed.
Preparing in advance gives you access to a logical explanation in the interview. Think about it in terms of what the issue was, what you did about it and what the end result was. If you are nervous for the interview your emotional brain will be fired up and you will lose access to rationale thought - emotions make us stupid! If you have prepared in advance your brain will be able to find an example rather than be scrambling around trying to create one from the depths of its archives!
Here are a few more tips:
- Look the part for the role you are looking to get.
- Have professional business cards (they don't have to cost a fortune and you can even get some free on the internet)
- Have a professional voice message on your phone
- Have a personal email address - not the one of your current employer
- Respond to people promptly
- Use social media responsibly - most organisations and recruitment agencies will look you up on line so don't have any embarrassing things waiting for them to find.
- Use things like linked in to check for opportunities
- Ask people you know if they can help identify opportunities or put you in touch with different contacts.
- Look at how you can improve and grow. If you get rejected ask for feedback to see what you can learn and then put it right for next time.
Finally, don't be disheartened if you are not successful. Remember you are more than your current circumstances and it just means you haven't found the right role yet!
Janice Haddon has over 25 years' experience in strategic and operational Human Resources and management consultancy. Working across a range of sectors and with start-ups to top 20 companies, Janice is a qualified coach and has a passion for integrating performance, personal positivity and wellbeing into the work place. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MA in Psychotherapy and an MBA from Henley Management College, Janice is also a Master Practitioner in NLP, a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapy Counsellor and runs a number of businesses including Morgan Redwood.