When it comes to thinking about your next career move it can be tricky to know how to go about it. Do you play it safe and stick around in your current position in the hope that you might be promoted? Or do you cut your losses and seek greener, more exciting pastures?
Either way, if you feel like you’re stuck in a work rut and going nowhere fast, it’s probably time to think about the future, wherever you decide to go. To help provide some insight as to what steps are best to take we spoke to Executive and Life Coach Anna Percy-Davis , who's given us her top tips on how to plot and plan your future job journey.
How soon in advance should you look to plan for your next career move and why?
“It’s best to give yourself as much time as you can to plan the next step in your career, says Anna. “In a perfect world you will be at a firm where you have annual reviews, which is a great opportunity to not only hear how you are doing but to get a sense of where you are going within the firm. You can also use your review to ascertain your chances of promotion and what you need to do to get the promotion. You need to get your boss to be as specific as possible because this way it’s easier for you to demonstrate your progress and therefore confidently ask for a promotion.
“Also what CPD (continuous professional development) opportunities are they going to offer you? You want to feel you are growing professionally and learning on the job. If none of this is happening and when you try to engage with your boss on these issues you draw a blank, it is time to start looking elsewhere. But be realistic - it can take up to a year to find your next job so make sure you are still doing a good job in your current role. As Sheryl Sandberg says in her book Lean In , “Don't sign out until you quit.”
What would be your top tips for ensuring your skills are up to scratch for when the right role comes along?
“You need to be very strategic here - start by working out what sort of role you are looking for and then research what sort of candidate would be ideal for this role. What education, experience and traits would the ideal candidate have? Start making sure you fit the bill as closely as possible. If you need to get further qualifications see if you can get it through CPD offered in your current role, or if could you study part -time to get it? Changing jobs and getting on in your career requires grit and determination, so you may have to make some sacrifices to make sure your CV is up to speed. Also, try to research what experience you need - can you gain some of this in your current role? Spot the opportunities at work to enhance your CV and make sure you put your hand up for it.”
What are your top tips regarding networking to see what else may be out there, without putting your current role at risk?
“Networking can be hugely useful here. Do you know anyone in the firm you are targeting or in roles that you are interested in? If not, do you know anyone who might? Keep any networking very casual initially (a chat over a cup of coffee - avoid formal meetings) and just be interested in what they do or who they work for and try to glean as much information as possible on the role. If all else fails you could pick someone's brain’s on the basis that you are trying to get the information for a friend if you feel you have to be discreet. Talking to a headhunter can be discreet too, but try to speak to one you know or who has been recommended to you. Before you say anything it’s also a good idea to get them to confirm their discretion.”
What can make your CV stand out when it comes to careers in the creative industry?
“CVs need to tailored for the job you are applying for, so make sure any relevant experience and qualifications are easy to spot on your CV and work to build out these sections more than other areas. For roles in the creative industry they will be looking for experience and original ideas. Lay out the experience clearly in your CV and put any original ideas in the covering letter. You can also Include a portfolio of the work you have done. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who is going to be looking at your CV - what is it that they are going to be most interested in ascertaining about you? If you have any doubt ask them what they would like to see from you. Sending the right CV off clearly gives you an immediate advantage.”
When signals it's time to move on and why?
“The most telling signs are when the job gets a bit too easy or humdrum and you no longer feel the thrill and challenge of the role. Dreading a Monday morning (or any morning for that matter) is not a good sign either. If you feel uncomfortable in your place of work or you have a difficult boss or colleague who is sapping your confidence, it is also definitely time to move on too .”