Coping with Rapid Career Change

Published: 16 September 2014

Unfortunate recent events at Phones4U have given five and a half thousand people’s career plans an unplanned gear change. For some it will be a welcome early exit to their next job, the nudge into a fresh new career direction, time for retirement, but for others it will be terrifying.

Don’t Panic; easier said than done. In an industry with a one liner for every occasion there is one phrase worth hanging onto at this point; ‘there are always good roles for good people’. And it largely holds water irrespective of market conditions.

If circumstance takes your career choice beyond your control here are some tips for putting yourself in the strongest position for successful career transition:

  • Pause & Prepare – redundancy and severance can be a jarring and emotional experience. Take time to come to terms with the circumstance. Different for everyone, but ensuring you are in the best frame of mind to sell yourself is invaluable. You can only make one first impression.
  • Be Honest With Yourself – what do you enjoy? What are you good at? What really motivates you? This will help focus your role search, and help you share authentic and compelling perspectives that convincingly sell your capabilities.
  • Audit Your Achievements – what scores have you put on the doors? Successes delivered in terms the business cares about, is the currency you now deal in. Focus your CV, and your interview content on these measurable outcomes. It’s the impact of what you delivered, not the task that’s important.
  • Remain in Control - where you look to third parties for support, ensure you know who is sending your profile to which client. Take feedback from recruiter interviews and work on it. As above, there really is only one chance to make a first impression with a prospective employer.

On that final point there are broadly five possible routes to market; general press & trade press adverts, Recruitment Agencies, a direct approach to a company, Head-hunters with retained mandates, and your own network. Cutting across all of these channels is the Internet; offering a channel for advertisement, direct hiring by companies, and management of your personal network through any number of social media platforms.

Use your time wisely. It’s easy to spend a day at a laptop applying online and convince yourself it’s a good days job search. Don’t confuse motion with progress – focus upon the channel that enables you to best market yourself directly to a business need and a decision maker. Remember there are always good jobs for good people, so invest in your preparation and come to market with a clear sense of self and direction; rest assured you’ll stand out.

Matt Cockbill is a Partner, and Head of the IT Leadership & Technology Practice at Berwick Partners.

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