The Mistakes To Avoid When Looking For Your Next Job

Looking for a new job is a big commitment.

At the time of writing this article, most of the world is still dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

Many accountants and other professionals have found themselves out of work.

As a result there are more candidates chasing each role.

So without doubt looking for your next job is even tougher right now.

Of course that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

The key thing is to avoid the following mistakes

Failing to know what you are looking for

My background is in accounting.

Within accounting there are many different areas you could specialise in.

While in the early stages of your career breadth is good, there comes a time when you know what type of roles you like.

I knew pretty early on that a highly technical role wasn’t for me.

The trouble is so many candidates fail to take the time to really stop, think and consider what they want from their next role.

The danger with this strategy is that you just move randomly.  Perhaps for a little bit more money.

Before you know it you start to struggle to make job moves.

The Solution:  Set aside some time to really think about what you really want from your next role.  It will help you so much with your job search.

Failing to know what you have to offer

Yes you may be an accountant.

At the same time you are an individual.

What you can offer is different to others.

What you can offer is shaped by your experiences both in work and in life.

Here’s what I notice in my work with clients.

The majority have what I will call a surface level knowledge of what they have to offer.

Or worse still will just trot out a bunch of generic words that they think sound good.

The Solution: Making lists.  Seeking feedback.  All designed to help you build up a really comprehensive picture of what you have to offer.

Failing to market yourself effectively

If you haven’t been on the job market for a while you may well fall into the passive trap.

By that I mean applying for jobs on job boards or on LinkedIn and waiting for the job interview invite.

Now you might strike it lucky.

On the other hand you will more than likely encounter a lot of rejections, which will knock your confidence.

The one channel approach to marketing you limits your potential to land your next job.

Not least because as many as 80% of jobs never reach the stage where they are advertised.

For many employers, when they have a vacancy, their first port of call to fill the vacancy is their existing workforce.

The Solution:  Start to see marketing as a core element of your strategy to landing your next job.  Build your profile in your professional community and on LinkedIn.  Reach out and build your network.  Utilise your network.

Failing to sell yourself effectively

If you are an accountant or other functional professional you might well be reluctant to sell yourself.

What you have to realise is that the job interview is a competitive process.

And sometimes it’s not the best candidate who gets the job but the candidate sells themselves effectively.

The problem is few do job interviews often enough to become really competent at them.

Add to this the fact that only about 10-20% of accountants and professionals do enough preparation for job interviews and as a result struggle.

The Solution:  Spend at least 10 hours preparing for a job interview.  Make sure you have examples and stories to illustrate your experience.  Demonstrate the value you can bring.

Landing your next job is a process.  Do it well and you will be more successful.  Do it badly and expect to find it a real struggle.