The current abundance of job vacancies does not mean it’s easy to get your dream job – especially for mid to senior level roles. In the last 40 years, the UK has seen a butter mountain, a cheese mountain, and even a beef mountain, as surplus food production met a shortage of buyers. But now, there’s a different kind of surplus – meet The Great Vacancy Mountain – as for the first time since records began, the number of available jobs outstrips the number of jobseekers chasing them.
According to the Government, there were almost 1.3 million job vacancies in July 2022 and the ratio of jobseekers to jobs was almost flat. These numbers reflect the fact that it’s an employee’s market, with businesses in almost every sector reporting difficulty in hiring the people they need.
However, the abundance of vacancies does not mean it’s easy to get your dream job – especially for mid to senior level roles in the professional, legal, and public sectors. Just like climbing a real mountain, finding the right job, with the right rewards, and the best fit for your career path, still takes time and diligence.
So how much time and work does this mean? It depends on preparation. Forearmed is forewarned. Read on to discover the best tactics and strategies to find the perfect job for you.
Networking is still the best way to gain fresh ideas, increase knowledge, build confidence, and secure valuable career support. It can also give you the inside scoop on new openings, reinforce your candidacy, and brief you on the skills that a future employer most values.
As you might expect, the stronger your contact list is, the greater the opportunities are. To build the most effective network, follow the rule of three:
- Only the best
A strong network consists of people who can make a positive difference to your career. This means they can offer knowledge, skills, and an inside track to people and resources you would normally be unable to access. This means you must be discerning in the contacts you nurture. Quality outshines quantity.
- Give to receive
When you connect with someone, offer your help first and ask for their help later. Relationships that start with a helping hand will typically be more fruitful in the long run.
- Stay connected
Cold calling is tough. People react better to people they stay in touch with. Even if you have nothing to offer on the work front, stay connected with your network. Sometimes, just asking someone how they are can open a multitude of doors.
Sponsors are more than contacts. They’re your A-list helpers. They can add serious weight to your job search and are typically supportive superiors, influential industry peers, and external mentors who can smooth your way to that role you’ve always wanted.
Sponsors can come from within or without your current profession, but you should cultivate close relationships that can elevate your sales pitch with career advice and insights, high-level introductions, and the access and ability to put your name forwards when suitable opportunities appear.
Changing career is no longer a no-no. Research reveals a third of UK workers are considering a new job in a new profession this year. Moving from one career path to another may seem daunting, but your transferable skills – the unique skillset you’ve acquired over your entire work experience and that will always be with you – can be the lightning rod that attracts new employers to your application.
The best businesses train for hard skills and hire for soft skills, as they seek candidates with well-rounded knowledge that can be effectively applied to their new role. If you’re not sure what your most valuable transferable skills are, the top skills that most employers look for in mid to senior level candidates are:
- creative problem solving
- adaptability & resilience
- emotional intelligence
- leadership qualities
- teamwork & collaboration
- critical thinking and analytical skills.
Emphasising these hard-to-teach skills in your job search can help to overcome any reservations employers may have regarding your career change, or, if you’re staying in the same industry, these skills can reinforce your value as a highly experienced candidate.
Every job application or interview has unique demands and processes. No two are the same and setbacks are inevitable. Staying motivated and positive are key to securing the role you want, don’t fall into the trap of thinking a ‘failure’ is personal (“It’s my fault”), pervasive (“I’m unqualified for any role”) and permanent (“I’ll never find a job.”).
Instead, reframe the incident to view it from a new perspective – it was just a single job, it wasn’t the right fit this time, and the right job is still out there for you. Someone once said that 80% of success is just showing up. What they didn’t say was that the other 20% is persistence. Don’t give up. Keep moving forwards.
Networking, sponsors, promoting your skill set and staying motivated, are the foundation stones to building a successful career. However, you can accelerate the programme with professional help, advice, and insight. Brook Street Bureau are the one of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies, and they’ve been helping candidates find their best job match for more than 75 years.
Are you ready to make your next big move? Contact Brook Street now to start your search for the job you’ve always wanted.