Making a job change in 2020

Jan 03, 2020

What better way to start a new year than with a new career opportunity? Fiona Richardson explains how you can make a career change this year.

January can often be a catalyst to making changes in your life, whether it’s hitting the gym, tailoring your eating habits or making those all-important New Year's resolutions. It comes as no surprise that changing job is a common theme during this time of self-reflection. If making a career move is a serious consideration for you in 2020, these key steps will ensure a successful transition 

Consider why you want to make a move

 Before you consider changing jobs, it’s important that you are clear in your own mind why you want to make a career move. Don’t move on an impulse. Analyse what you like in your current role and what you would change if given the opportunity. Ask yourself: What do you want to see in your next role? Is there a way for you to achieve this in your current organisation? We advise candidates to have these discussions internally before looking externally. This will hopefully avoid the sticky situation of  considering a counteroffer after going through the interview process with a prospective future employer.

Write your CV or update the one you have

This is often an intimidating task, but just do it. It takes time to get right, but it is so worthwhile once you get it done. Focus on your skills, key deliverables and achievements rather than just your operational outputs. Remember your skills and experience are transferable to other industries, so don’t undersell or limit yourself. Make sure to review job descriptions to familiarise yourself with the language being used and get a sense of what employers are looking for. Your CV should include a short and succinct personal profile/statement focusing on experience, skills and key successes.

Once you complete a final draft, it is much easier to re-edit it for different roles that may come your way. You will usually have to adjust your CV for each role to emphasise what is important and highlight your suitability for the position. Your CV should be a working document that you update on an ongoing basis as your role and responsibilities evolve. Once completed, seek feedback from a mentor or your recruitment partner.

Put yourself out there

Once you have decided that you want to move, you must put a plan in place to ensure that you are positioned in the way of potential opportunities. Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your most recent position and partner with a recruitment specialist and meet with them so they fully understand your background and what you want to achieve in your next move. Take their advice. As industry specialists, they should manage expectations and provide insights into the job market.

Finally, the most important part of the plan is one around your personal brand and broadening your networking activity. Have you joined relevant institutes? Are you attending industry events? Is your company a member of a local chamber of commerce and if so, are you attending events? How you present yourself to the market, your CV, your LinkedIn profile, your attitude, your communication skills, dressing appropriately – all these things matter.

Changing careers is exciting, and the decision to do so will dictate the foreseeable future of your professional life. Take time with it, be considered and when you are offered the role you like, be decisive.

Fiona Richardson is an Associate Director of Accounting, Finance & Legal in Morgan McKinley.