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TheLadders Tips - Showcase your skills

Showcase your skills

Executives need to reinvent themselves if they want to improve their job prospects this year, writes Susan Welsh

HARDLY a week has gone by recently without news of a major business going to the wall.

Faced with redundancy and with job prospects in some fields at an all-time low, many executives will begin this year confronting the first major setback of their career.

For many, however, it is the opportunity for some executive reinventing.

“Whilst companies throughout the UK are seeing redundancies, there are still important roles out there to be filled,” says Derek Pilcher, managing director of careers website, TheLadders.co.uk.

“If a job seeker finds his or her industry has been hit hard, then reinventing your career by focusing on one’s skills and passion is an important step to find a new career path.

“Certain sectors are experiencing growth even now.

“Companies are looking for talented individuals so showcasing skills you may have thought might not be important for career fulfillment might actually be something that lands you the job.”

The following 10-point plan should help you re-evaluate your skills and create a new career:

Change your attitude and discover personal confidence. For many long-term employees, believing they are part of a company and not a skilled individual is the first hurdle.

Have an idea of what you want to do. Before packing up your desk it is important to know what makes you tick. What pastimes do you enjoy? What challenges do you relish? What motivates you? Write them down and think about them. This may indicate a new direction or highlight skills you can bring to your existing organisation.

Be ambitious but be realistic. Everyone dreams of writing a novel, however without any experience of writing a story, the leap is simply too risky. Invention is about turning what you know into a reality.

Make sure you have a market. Research your new career goal online to distinguish if there is a need for your new skill package. Look at companies doing well and how your skills can transfer into a role there.

Rebuild your CV. Look at your career goal, your skills and your experience and go to a professional CV writer. They will help you translate those skills into demonstrable claims on your CV.

Go back to school. Learning new skills may be important to your career change but will take commitment. Consider taking classes, additional training and university courses. Network at local business events or attend exhibitions and conferences.

Discuss your career change. Confide in trusted colleagues past and present and their friends in businesses. They will give you directional feedback and may even have friends you can speak with for possible insight.

Find the Opportunities. A new direction may mean a new route to finding roles. Look in the Press & Journal Your Job supplement and careers sites such as TheLadders.co.uk to find positions that tick your requirements. Identify which type of companies and recruiters are advertising these roles. Look at industry associations, networking groups online and offline to produce a target companies list.

Don’t leave it to the letter. Too many job applicants send their CV and wait to hear whether they made the shortlist. Without the experience of rivals, a new career seeker needs to sell his or her self. Be prepared to call recruiters and outline why you should be considered for the role. Sell yourself as you would sell your business.

Stay focused. Your ideal role may not fall into your lap immediately so you may end up having to work elsewhere to continue to earn. However, stay focused and keep applying. Don’t lose sight of the opportunity that this downturn could present. Be positive and honest about what you offer.

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