Just as the media reports that less houses are being put on the market for sale during the winter months, so too do candidates appear to be going into hibernation; awaiting the warmer weather to return before venturing back out to look for a new job.
For many, having less sun and a lack of vitamin D causes lower moods and energy levels, making it hard to stay motivated and sell yourself during interviews. Being stuck indoors shouldn’t cause your job searching efforts to be left outside to freeze in the cold, read on for some practical advice on how to make the most of your winter hibernation.
How Bad Can It Really Be?
Searching for a job in New Zealand is a lot easier than searching in colder climates in the winter, like Alaska, Russia or Iceland. I was in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul for a white Christmas this year and preparing to go outdoors took 10 minutes – minimum! Imagine arriving for an interview shaking the snow off your coat and boots, taking three layers of clothing off and doing your best not to look flustered. It just doesn’t get that cold here.
Whilst some will still face the cold weather to job search and interview, planning for potential traffic delays, tidying themselves up from the wind and putting their best smile on, others will always prefer to remain in hibernation. Admittedly, we at Beyond Recruitment hope you’d choose the first option, but if you’d rather wrap up warm and wait out the cold, here are a few great indoor job searching tips to help prepare you for the warmer months.
Tip #1 – Defining Your Career Goals
Personal development coaches have been telling us to be clear about our own goals for years. Personal Development and Author “Zig” Ziglar, alongside many others, took it a step further by saying we need to write our goals down, and define what we will achieve from reaching them. How will it feel, how will life change?
Below is a simple tip that I’ve been sharing with candidates over the last 10 years, which aims to help them clearly identify their ideal job. It’s simple.
Start by looking at as many job vacancies as you can. Don’t look with the intention of applying, but rather to look for obvious trends that catch your eye. Forgot what you’re ‘qualified’ to apply for and just go nuts. You may notice that you’re continuously drawn to what the advert says about the company’s culture, things like a great work-life balance with a friendly team as an example. If this is the case, then that’s your number one priority in your job search. Write it down.
Next, you notice yourself getting interested in key tasks. Tasks you can either see yourself achieving now or perhaps, take you on a search of educational institutions that can provide the training you need.
The easiest way to do this exercise is to print off job advertisements that interest you and make you curious, get a highlighter pen and highlight the words or sentences that catch your attention. Then look for trends. They will be there!
You can start right now by heading over to our job page, and use this information to mock up your own ideal job advertisement. A job advert that includes information about the company, culture, job tasks, attributes required, salary offered, location and career development prospects. There you have it, you have written down your ‘ideal career goal’ without needing to reinvent the wheel.
Another saying I use daily, brought more into the mainstream by Rhonda Byrne who launched ‘The Secret’, is “We bring about what we think about.” Now that you have your career goal written down, chances are when you think about it enough, you will find it.
Tip #2 – Reaching Higher with Your Network
As you now have clearly defined your career goal, the next step is to tell everyone you know what you’re looking for. How often do we hear the saying, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know?” Well, it’s true!
To begin, write a list of 100 names of people you know. Keep it simple by starting with family, then friends, then move over into your colleagues, ex-colleagues, mentors and people you know within your industry, such as suppliers, clients, and the list will go on and on.
Obviously, we’re not trying to encourage you to spill the beans to your current employer ahead of time, but rather use your reachable network to help you. If you’re a networker, get out and about and tell those you can trust in your network exactly what you’re looking for.
Even better still, get really clear with your Beyond Recruitment Consultant, as we are specialists with our own extensive networks. We are trained to market you effectively.
There many other effective uses of your indoor time, including keeping your CV up-to-date and spending time designing, creating and reviewing your personal brand. Remember to research companies and industries of interest online and if you find anything that stands out to you, stand out yourself by picking up the phone and be different to the hundreds of applicants that rely on email and text. And finally, work on your frame of mind by listening to inspirational talks and reading blogs and books that can help you secure that ideal job.
Winter does not have to be all about doom and gloom. There are many positives; from polishing up our favourite winter boots and grabbing out warm winter coat, to taking a breather and relaxing in front of a warm fire with family and friends.
If going outdoors to attend a job interview is really not on your agenda right now, use this downtime wisely and prepare by defining your career goals and making a job search plan.
Wrap up warm if you must and be sure to make the most of staying indoors, we look forward to seeing you back on the job search hunt very soon.