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Don’t let fear of leaving the familiar stop you finding...

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5 months ago

by Nuala Edgar

​I get it!... when you’ve been in a job for some time, knowing you need a new challenge and are ready for a change can be quickly overshadowed by the dread of having to face the unfamiliar.

Joining Sarah West Recruitment recently after being in my previous role for over 15 years was full of all the expected emotions - it was familiar, I knew it inside out, I loved my clients and most importantly my colleagues, but I knew, in my heart it was the right time for a change. Knowing it was time for a change was the easy bit, the actual thought of moving wasn’t, and I found myself quickly faced with a lot of unknown and daunting tasks.

Having been through this experience so recently, I was fairly certain I wasn’t alone, so wanted to share my experience, and hopefully provide some tips, advice and light encouragement to those of you in a similar position.

Here are just a few things you may be feeling apprehensive about (but will soon discover you don’t need to).

The most important thing to remember is that if you are unsure at any stage, speak to your friends or family. They know you best, and will sometimes recognise your strengths and abilities before you do. They are also often the people that see you when you are struggling and know that you’re in need of a fresh perspective. They can see that you need a change and can provide a quick injection of support when you’re having a bit of a wobble!

It is also worth speaking to your recruitment consultant, who will undoubtedly be very willing to help and support you throughout the process.

Things you may be thinking…

What do I actually do each day?

When you’ve done a job for such a long period of time, it can often be hard to recognise what you actually do each and every day, because it all becomes second nature! Here’s a practical tip for you…….be proactive, each day note down key things that you do, highlighting which are transferable. Here’s some questions to help you start your list

•Do you communicate with clients and colleagues each day?
•Is communication written or verbal?
•What are your objectives/KPIs at work? How can you use these to showcase your skills?
•Are you involved in additional areas/initiatives within the organisation e.g. CSR, employee forums etc
•Do you use a CRM or other tools each day? If so share them.

This exercise also acts as a great reminder at the amount you do, what you’re good at and starts dispelling any hints of imposter syndrome that may be creeping in.

I don’t have a CV/it’s so out of date

If you haven’t needed a CV, or haven’t had the need to update yours, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming, there really is nothing worse than a blank sheet of paper.

The key things to remember here are that they need to be concise and easy for a potential employer to read. It needs to showcase you, your skills, and your relevant work experiences and/or education. This is your chance to stand out from all the other applicants.

Include the things that you have learnt when reflecting on ‘what do I actually do’ to help summarise key skills and achievements and remember to show your personality too! Do you set yourself regular challenges, volunteer locally, get involved in arranging events etc?

It’s all very digital

The last time I applied for a job, the process of searching, applying, and interviewing were far from digital and it’s fair to say things moved even more this way due to the pandemic. New technology and what potentially seems a ‘faceless’ process can be intimidating, but don’t let them put you off, the reality is the introduction of digital systems and processes have made the world of recruitment slicker and more transparent, this works in favour of both the client and you.

If you are feeling uncomfortable or uncertain, speak with a recruitment consultant who supports people through the process on a daily basis.

The interview

Even people that love interacting with others can find interviews scary and the key thing here is to prepare, practice and be honest.

During your preparation get a good understanding of the job role, the company and the people that are interviewing you, and write out any questions you may have about the role or company so that you don’t forget them on the day.

All interviews will be different, and the thing to remember is that you will always learn or take something away from each one. If interviews are competency based, be prepared to provide specific examples. To be able to provide examples to the questions, you need to fully understand the role profile or job spec that you have been provided with. Ask your consultant to go through this with you, and do “Interview prep”. This gives you the chance to have a practise run.

Overall, remember to be yourself, and don’t forget to ask the questions you have when it’s time to do so. An interview is as much about you establishing if the company is the right fit for you, as it is them working out if you are right for them.

And finally…believe in yourself!

You’ve been in the same job for a long period of time because you are good at it. You will have obtained a skillset that will transfer to your next move. Don’t doubt your ability. Nerves are natural, and actually a good sign. It means that you care!



Looking for support to make your next career move? Get in touch we’d be more than happy to chat things through and help you find your dream job!

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

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