How To Plan your Next Career Move

08 June 2021

How To Plan Your Next Career Move

According to a Poll conducted by Gallup, 85% of the global workforce are unhappy in their jobs.

This staggering figure begs the question of why, and what can we do about it? Micro-management, poor career options, boredom/lack of challenge, lack of career progression or salary expectations stimulate many professionals to look for better opportunities. If this is you read on for our top tips on how to plan your next career move.

Our top tips to plan your next career move:

What are your expectations for future roles?

Make a list. What do you want from your future career? More career opportunities, more travel? Do you want to manage people or are you looking for a sense of purpose? It can be easy to know what you want to leave behind, but nailing down what you do want can be challenging. It is helpful to separate out your requirements into essential versus nice to have categories so you can be realistic when looking for a new job.

What do you dislike about your job?

Balance your expectations against what you dislike about your current position. Do you have problems with your boss, colleagues, the pay, the work culture? Some of these you may be able to fix with a bit of information, for instance check out our How to survive a micromanager guide.

Can your current role support your aspirations?

It is worth sitting down with your manager and sharing your concerns about your current role, its limitations and your aspirations. If you are concerned about the lack of challenge or progression, you could ask for training to widen the scope of the work you do. This could make it easier for you to negotiate a pay rise if salary is one of your main concerns. If you already think you are being undervalued check out our guide on How to ask for a pay rise.

Perform a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat analysis (SWOT)

If you really can’t stay then it's best to start a self assessment before you start sending off your CV and making enquiries. The SWOT method is a great place to start. Although this method is normally used on an organizational level it also works as a handy self analysis tool.

Start with your strengths, making a summary of what you do well, what others tell you that you do well and what unique experience you bring to the table.

Consider your weaknesses, noting what could be improved, what others do better, and what experience or training you may lack.

Examine your opportunities, what positions are available, are there any trending jobs you could compete for, and if so, how could you best leverage your strengths?

Assess any potential threats, who are your competition? If you are trying to break into senior management for example, analyse the skillset of people already in such positions, as well as the requirements listed in job ads, build up a picture of who these positions are really asking for, so you can prepare yourself adequately.

Talk to an expert

It always helps to get an objective opinion by talking with a specialist recruitment consultant, who can inform you on the current state of the market, what skills may be in demand and how you stack up against competition. Some recruitment companies give out free information in the form of talent updates, or annual salary surveys, which are a great resource, giving you the ability to analyse market trends year on year.

Sharpen your skills with interviews

If you haven’t been already, go for regular job interviews, even for positions you don’t want. This is one of the fastest ways to learn for yourself what hiring managers are really looking for, allowing you to quickly hone your skills. It is also a good opportunity to get insider information on how other companies operate, which you can take back to your current position. This free industry advice may help you stay in your current position or help you further define what you like and dislike.

Focus on your digital profile

An astonishing 87% of recruiters prefer LinkedIn above all other networks when vetting candidates so it pays to stand out from the crowd. If your LinkedIn or other digital profiles are looking a bit shabby, now is the time to update them. Contributing to relevant conversations in your field is a great way to get noticed and strengthen your credibility.

Network as much as possible

Often jobs are discussed on the grapevine before they are made public, with many position filled on employee referrals alone. According to a LinkedIn study 85% of all jobs are filled through networking, underlining the importance of reaching out and collaborating with as many quality connections as possible, both online and in person, for example by attending networking events. Always have opportunity on your mind, you never know who you might meet in your day to day life that could become a valuable connection down the road. Check out our guide to Networking Success for more.

Putting it all together

Continuing to focus on your skills and weaknesses, digital profile and networking will put you in the ideal position to take the next step: finding your perfect job.