What’s the right way to look for a job change?

I am not sure if there is actually just one right way of looking for a job. We see many practices followed commonly. Some go to job portals, some to the classifieds and appointment columns, some approach their known people for help, some visit employment agencies and employers, some increase their visibility on social networking sites and some wait for the headhunters to approach them.

What seems to be working now is job sites, social platforms and references from known people. People desperately looking for a change are hyperactive on job portals and hope that their profiles come higher up in the search results page of the nearly 50000 recruiters searching for candidates each day. Going forward, things would change. The winds of change have started blowing already.

One of my ex-colleagues quoted a piece of research to point out that job change is one of the most stressful experiences in life. Most of the time, one doesn’t know who could be a potential employer and how to reach them for a discussion. At times, one is not sure if a proactive move will create a negative bias in the mind of the potential employer and hence, risk the chances of getting a job there. Considering all these, what are the do’s and don’ts?

Firstly, it’s important to see the self-image and discover the parts of it. The pace that we have got used to, doesn’t leave enough room for people to introspect and hence, this first step doesn’t get done. But, it’s the important stepping stone! This process will result in a lot of self-awareness and help in visualising the possible paths one should take. In this step, one packages one’s knowledge and skills in a way that helps the potential employer understand the applicant well. Also, one becomes clear about the intentions and hence, one gets an idea where the possible employers are.

Then the execution starts! There are loads of employers who search for keywords in the Resumes and call for interviews when the matches happen. And then, interviews happen and no feedback comes up. Keywords do not describe the applicant fully neither a job description defines a role fully! Current methods have a lot of limitations and hence, everyone wastes huge amount of time in unsuccessful meetings. The employers tend to see so many candidates that they fail on many counts such as discussing in detail, making notes of the discussions and communicating well with the talent market. Not a great situation for the employers and the applicants! This is bound to change in the days to come.

However, as things stand now, it’s always helpful if the job-explorer describes his or her areas of interest and proficiency well; the achievements which make one proud; the kind of tasks that brings happiness to the person and the parts of the daily routine which are fulfilling. Also, it helps a recruiter if the real motive of changing the job is discussed transparently! If one can find a competent headhunter, one can get meaningful advice!

Last, but not the least, asking questions is another great way by which the job change process of one person gets different from another. There are many unknowns that one deals with while exploring another opportunity. It’s fair that one lists them down and tries finding answers to them using multiple sources such as friends, recruiters, blogs, reviews, ex-employees, current employees and so on. Many a times, one may not be sure what’s the right answer, but making an attempt to find them helps one stay the right course while looking for a job change.

So, it’s introspection, research and planning; then, transparency and honesty in deciding the objective followed by a logical approach to reach the target employers seems to be the best way!

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