Claire Roberts

Network Your Career to Stardom

I’ve been reading a lot over the last few months about the booming job market in the UK and the increase in the number of job vacancies. 

So what does this mean for your career progression? 

“Networking is an ideal way to make sure that you are given an opportunity to sell yourself into your dream job.“

Well it certainly means that if you are actively looking for a job then there is a plethora of jobs to choose from out there, just glance at any company page on social media or at a job board.  But what you might also notice is the long list of pre-requisites for applicants to the role, it’s certainly something I have noticed. With the perception that jobs were scarce and candidates plentiful throughout the recession employers now seem to think that there is a perfect candidate just waiting to apply for every vacancy they have.  If that were true, I’d be out of a job!

But this does have a knock on effect to anyone who has ambitions to develop a successful career for themselves.  What are your options for gaining that next career move, with a nice pay rise to accompany it!

Sit and Wait

You work for a good company, there are no opportunities to progress at the moment, but eventually someone will notice how hard you’ve been working and recommend you for promotion right?  Well, yes of course this is exactly how many people progress, but it can take a long time and rarely has a financial reward comparable to moving companies.

Apply for roles with other organisations

Only problem here is that huge list of prerequisites that employers want – so you either have to make a sideways move and then hope that progression will be quicker than in your current company (unlikely as you are now back of the queue again).  Or you apply for a role that gives you the progression now, and hope that the employer can see the potential in your CV and will discard their list of wants – hard!

 So how do you catapult your career to stardom at the rate you want it to progress? 

It’s all about accessing opportunities through the back door, making sure that a new employer see’s your potential first rather than dismissing you in a CV sift because you don’t have the exact experience listed on the job description (which is often done by someone other than the hiring manager anyway).

Now I’m not saying this is easy, and these opportunities don’t come about every day, so it’s down to you to make sure that you are in the right place at the right time – and that’s all about networking with the right people, be that a specialist recruiter in your sector, an ex-work colleague or someone you met at an event.  Do you ever wonder how CEO's of global organisations find new roles?  They certainly don’t sit for hours looking through endless job postings on job boards or post their CV’s online - they stay connected. 

Talking to the right people on a regular basis, months or even years before you plan to make a move, because that way you are kept in the know.  When the ideal next step becomes available not only do you get to hear about it, but you have also built up a strong relationship with the person keeping you informed who knows exactly why you are perfect for the job, and it doesn’t come down to ticking things off a checklist against your CV.

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