Achieve Your Career Ambitions in 2015
The job market has already seen record breaking numbers of both new roles and new jobseekers in 2015, making it clear that many of you want to achieve new career ambitions this year. Whether that’s landing your dream job, or simply making valuable changes to the role you’re currently in, here’s some food for thought when it comes to getting where you want to be in 2015.
Find a new role
January is a very popular time of year to start looking for a new role. Your New Year’s resolutions may have included making plans to relocate, or perhaps you have returned to your current role after some time to consider and felt less than inspired. Whatever the reason, here is some guidance on finding a new role in the new year.
- Is your CV the best it can be? Make sure it includes any recent projects, new skills and a refresh of design or language if necessary, and ensure that these changes are also made to your LinkedIn profile.
- Do you know which roles you would be aiming to apply for? It can often be the case that candidates think of themselves in a more narrow category than necessary, cutting out roles that they could have great potential for. Brush up your market knowledge and make sure you know what you could be suitable for – arranging a meeting with a recruitment consultant is a great way of doing this if you need some inspiration.
- Are you ready for interviews? They could come around sooner than you might think, so make sure you know how to give great answers to competency questions, as well as succeed at any potential assessment centres you may be invited to.
Once you’ve completed this checklist, there are many places to start your job search – why not look at Eden Scott’s job search to kick things off?
Expand your role
Many people dream of being promoted, particularly if you’ve been with the company for a significant length of time and know that it’s a possibility within your organisation. Before you form a strategy to reach the next level within your current company, consider these questions:
- Are you solely results oriented? It’s not enough to be bringing about consistently great results for the company. To be in with a chance of promotion, you need to demonstrate that your skills and capabilities have also grown, and that a promotion would therefore be the best way of putting these to use, so that your results will not only continue, but grow significantly once you are given more responsibility.
- Are you ready to lead? A promotion can often mean managing others, and whether you’re ready for this or not must be a key consideration when the career of others may depend on you in the future.
- Do you love the place? Getting a promotion won’t just mean an expansion of tasks and responsibilities – typically it also leads to becoming further embedded in your company culture. If there are aspects of it that you disagree with, or you have room to improve on when it comes to the social side of your role, it might be difficult to gain the promotion you’re dreaming of.
If these questions can be given a resounding “yes”, then consider your promotion strategy. A great first step is to sit down with your manager for a beginning of year catch up. Make your goal of furthering your career and expanding your role clear to them, although don’t explicitly demand a promotion there and then – simply highlight your commitment to growing with the business, and allow this to open a discussion regarding any projects or tasks you could help on to show why this would be such a great idea.
Following the meeting, focus on knowing your job well and doing it to the best of your ability, while being decisive with your time and not overloading yourself – a promotion is unlikely to be given to someone who already seems to have too much on their plate. Record any significant wins or achievements you’ve made for the company going forward, and once you feel that you’ve made great headway in terms of your positioning within the company, it could well be time to schedule another meeting.
Increase your salary
There are many reasons why your current salary may not be what you would ideally like it to be. Current issues like the pay gap between men and women, frequently changing roles due to new technologies and business trends, and businesses continuing their recovery from the recession all combine to mean that it might be time to ask for a raise.
Before you do, there are some important things to bear in mind:
- Is your company in the process of making cuts? Be aware of your surroundings before you ask for more money, as it’s important to demonstrate your awareness of the business needs and issues as well as your own.
- Do you truly deserve a raise? Make sure you have enough evidence of your consistently strong performance to make your case for a raise the best it can be. Your management team may have a different perception of your workload or achievements, so hard and fast numbers in terms of what you have brought to the business will really help in this situation.
- How will you react if you’re told no? Ensure that you are prepared for this possibility, whether it kicks a job search into action, or inspires you to change your working habits to demonstrate your worth.
If you know the answer to these questions, then it’s time to discuss that raise. Schedule some time with your manager, making sure you tell them in advance what the topic of the meeting will be - a morning at the beginning of the week is typically the best time, when all parties have clear heads, and aren’t trying to get finished for the weekend. Come prepared, with your evidence as well as future goals and aims in terms of helping the company to succeed.
What are your career ambitions for 2015? Do you have a great plan to turn them into reality? Let us know in the comments below.