The pandemic pulled a lot of work-related expectations into focus.
Many millions of workers across the UK pulled the trigger on established careers because those jobs simply weren’t meeting the demands of the new normal – UK employees across multiple sectors demanded new standards of work: more empathy, more mental health support, flexible work routines and a focus on welfare and a commitment to ESG, not a continuous, endless search for profit amid the greatest economic and public health upset in a generation.
This “power” to change the very fabric of work in the UK is very much in the hands of job seekers. As a result of the great resignation, thousands of companies are scrambling for talent who want workplaces to reflect these new, contemporary ideals.
In light of this, there has never been a better time to explore a new career, but career growth, in this complex and disrupted context, is worthy of further thought.
How should candidates strategise their next career move in the wake of the pandemic, remote work, pressured businesses, Brexit, and workplace disruption across the board?
Rectec has compiled 5 varied ideas from a global recruitment thought leadership base on what career growth should now look like, and how job seekers can confidently build a career strategy fit for purpose in our new normal.
- Be obsessed with yourself – Helen Horyza
Career Coach and Author Helen Horyza, in her book, Elevate Your Career: Live a Life You’re Truly Proud Of focuses first and foremost on personal passions and drivers for career growth.
“YOU are the one thing in your career that remains stable and consistent through the course of your life. The economy cycles and labour markets shift. Hot job trends come and go, potentially pulling you in the wrong direction…you can be obsessed with what makes you tick, keeping your capabilities front and centre”.
Recruiters and HR Managers always have to bring balance to job applications. One of the hardest and more intangible of matchmaking elements is finding common ground when it comes to working culture – is this person the right “fit” for the company? Do they share the same ethics, morals, behaviours and attitudes?
While agility and flexibility in approach to work are rightly lauded as good candidate behaviour, job seekers must above all else back themselves, and never forget what drives them.
- Define what success looks like for you – Ashira Prossack
Former Forbes contributor and Communications Coach Ashira Prossack gives credence to mapping out what success looks like to you.
“Everyone has their own personal definition of success. For some people, it might be reaching the C-Suite and getting a coveted executive role, and for others, it could be finding a career that allows them to spend more time with their family. There’s no right or wrong way to define success – it looks different for everyone. What matters is that you’re able to define it for yourself”.
Your needs determine your expectations. Rather than focus on what you could have in the future, figure out what matters to you now, and build a career strategy that incorporates those things as priorities.
- Help Somebody in your Network – Bruce Harpham
In a blog for Recruiterie, Technology Marketing Consultant Bruce Harpham notes a particular form of “charitable” work you can do that can really elevate your career – helping someone in your network.
“Rather than only asking your network for favours, take a proactive step, and do favours for people now. People in your network will be more inclined to help you if you make the first move”.
This is networking 2.0 – rather than simply focusing on spreading the word of you and your career, invest in helping others within that network.
- Realise the power of relational learning – University of Queensland
Although continual learning is an essential tenet of career growth, relational learning, as posited by the University of Queensland, takes it one step further.
“A study from the Centre of Creative Leadership reveals that learning happens in three contexts:
- During challenging on-the-job assignments,
- Through relationships with other people,
- From formal coursework and training programs.
The centre’s research found that a combination of these three types of experiences influence how executives learn, grow and change over their careers”.
Yes, do courses. Yes, challenge yourself to learn new skills. But be aware of the context of learning, and to be fully effective in up-skilling over the next 12 months take stock of the best place in which to learn.
- Maintain Focus on Results Rather Than Time – The Job Network
This final point is one that’s often forgotten – working to career growth timescales is laudable, but you should focus on the quality of results rather than hitting targets by certain fixed dates. Miranda Pennington at The Job Network puts it this way.
“Many an hourly worker develops a “time worked equals value created” mentality — lose the attitude, but keep the work ethic, and make sure you’ve produced worthwhile progress each and every day”.
A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.
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