Career advice used to be simple,’ work as hard as you can, put in long hours and impress your boss; climb the ladder.’ Not anymore!
Careers in Ireland used to be very straightforward. You joined a company straight out of college and you worked your way up. These days things are a little different, careers are a lot less linear.
Very few of us expect to spend our entire career with one company. According to some research, almost half of us expect to change job in the next two years. That kind of ‘job-hopping’ culture creates lots of opportunity for jumping up pay scales and titles, but it does create a career advice problem. With no set organisational ‘ladder’ to climb, you have to think about a lot more than just hard work. So where can a serial job hopper find valuable career advice?
One readymade source of advice will be your friends and colleagues. As social media and mobile technologies continue to reshape careers and working patterns, it can be difficult to rely on tried and trusted advice. The people in your peer group who are succeeding in their careers will have valuable insights to offer and, thanks to those same social and mobile technologies, contacting them is now easier than ever.
Of course, you don’t need to rely on the people you know. Social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn are filled with useful advice from some of the most successful advisers in the world. On LinkedIn, join groups related to your industry, follow companies you are interested in working for and connect with people whose success you’d like to emulate. On Twitter you will find plenty of valuable advice shared on hashtags like #jobfairy and #jobs.
Your Current Employer
While you may not see yourself staying with your current company forever, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore internal learning and development opportunities. No one will know your skills, or your areas for improvement, better than your current employer. Use that knowledge to identify your ideal career path and gain a better understanding of your options.
People Who Have Interviewed You
The interview is still the most common method employers use to identify the best person for a new job. It’s also the part of the process most of us dread. However, even unsuccessful interviews offer plenty of learning opportunities. If you keep getting interviews but haven’t been able to secure the job, you may need some feedback on your interview technique. Where better to get that than from the person who decided not to hire you?
If you are unemployed; your best career move may be to retrain or to upskill. The challenge is identifying an affordable training programme. The government has implemented a number of schemes in recent years aimed at getting people back to work and, while they’re not all perfect, there are a few that can help you to define your next career move. Momentum offers a combination of both classroom training and real world experience, while Springboard offers the opportunity to add to your current skillsets.
Whether you are out of work or looking for your next move, you don’t need to build your career on your own. There is plenty of support and advice out there, if you know where to look. Unfortunately, no matter how much good advice you find, you still have to put in plenty of hard work.