Strategic Movement: Taking Your Career into Your Own Hands

Strategic Movement: Taking Your Career into Your Own Hands

Many professionals looking for a change have taken notice of positive movements in hiring. Statistics Canada reported a hiring surge this past March and April (over 140,000 new jobs created -the largest jump since 1981) across several sectors, with private sector hiring and more full time positions taking credit for a large part of this economic growth. In addition, various job industries have experienced as much as a 25% increase in lateral hiring in 2011 giving experienced professionals the opportunity to finally make the change they have been waiting for.

Unfortunately, after several years of economic uncertainty, many professionals have forgotten that it is they who ultimately have control of their future. Instead of seizing the opportunity to decide what direction their careers will take, professionals lay-in-wait thinking that the right job will find them. This approach sometimes works, however, I have found that the more proactive you are with your career, the more likely you are to identify and secure the best position that will result in a long term career choice as opposed to just the next best job.

Some Friendly Advice: 

Know where you have been and where you want to go 
The first thing you must do if you are considering a career change is to make a plan. The worst thing you could do is to take a new job that fulfills a short term need for change but not a long term plan for your future. Think about what it is about the job you have now and those you have had before that you really like and what you really did not like. Decide what direction you want your career to take and then draw your own path. Your next position should only be a forward step. If you are moving backwards or sideways then you are not doing anything to build your career; you are simply sidestepping to cure a short term problem that will most likely follow you to your new company. 

Talk to your family and friends 
Often your family and friends know you better than you do. Do not underestimate how those close to you can help you with career decisions and provide you with feedback on your future. Consult with those you trust most from the onset of your search and be open to their advice and counsel. 

Research and Contact a Recruiter
A good recruiter can be your new best friend. For an experienced professional, a trusted recruiter can help you with career counselling and placement; a lifeline to your professional success. Once you have made the decision to make a move, research the recruiters that have expertise in your chosen area and provide them with as much information as you can about yourself, your experience, and what type of position you are looking for. The more a recruiter knows about you, the more opportunities they will be able to present to you. Most importantly, make sure you are honest with yourself and your recruiter, and make sure your recruiter is honest and candid with you. This is a very important relationship you are building and a good recruiter can provide you with counsel throughout your entire career. 

Resumes, Social Media and Interviewing; Your best friend or your worst enemy 
Be careful! That is the first piece of advice I can give anyone. Before you do anything publicly, assume your employer 10 years from now will be looking at it. They probably will. Take extreme caution as to anything you put on paper, it is out there forever. Furthermore, be respectful; when you draft your cover letter and resume, or interview with your potential employer, remember they are not your text messaging buddy, don't treat them as such. 

Now is the time to take control of your future. With careful planning, research and communication, an experienced professional should be able to build the career they envision for themselves. Take the bull by the horns and get yourself ready, the future is yours.