Over the past few weeks, I’ve been interviewing for new opportunities within my organization. Its been a combination of wanting to do something different, more challenging, and to further my career. I’ve had several great conversations with hiring managers and team members and thought I’d share what I’ve learned. Whether you’re looking for a job today or not, we’re all job seekers (because one day you will be back in the market).
Firstly, seeing yourself as a strategic advisor for your own career is important. While its great to have advice from everyone, including significant others, spouses and former bosses, no one better understands your life, vision, and goals than you.
- Think about what you want to be doing two jobs from now. This doesn’t mean that you have to know exactly what that job is, where it is, or what day-to-day responsibilites it would entail, but a general path. Some considerations would be whether you want to stay in the same industry, company, city, and what your top 3 career and/or life priorities would be then. For me, my top three priorities are: family life, career trajectory, and skills development.
- Think about who you need to connect with to get you there. Networking always pays off and its more than just that. Set up 30-minute research meetings with anyone and everyone you want to meet. Ask them about their life, how they got to where they are and what you’re thinking. You don’t need to have all the answers nor do you need to be jazzed about what they do. No one is a wasted effort. I’ll give a perfect example. The hiring manager for the job I recently accepted is my predecessor. They were in my current role right before I was, and have since moved on to become a hiring manager in a completely different part of the organization. They happened to be building out their team in an exciting part of the company that is gaining visibility and traction, and I happen to be stoked about product development and marketing, so hello.
- Who are three people you would seek career advice from if you landed your dream job. Keep those people close. If they aren’t your mentors already, consider asking them. If you haven’t seen or spoken to them in a while, I’d put some time on the calendar to meet in-person for a 30-minute chat. Again, its back to #2, but the takeway for this third point is knowing who to ask for help before you need it. Maybe you’re working on a project and they’d be a valuable sounding board for you. Reach out and often.