5 Things to Think About Before You Start Applying for Jobs
If you’ve recently graduated, or you’re expecting to this year, you’ll probably be thinking of how to land your dream job. It’s a very exciting time when your whole career is ahead of you to pursue and you have many directions and opportunities to choose from. To get the most out of your job search, and ultimately, the career path you choose, there are some things to think about before you start applying.
Having been there myself, I thought I’d share some tips with you in the hope that you’ll find them helpful during your job hunt.
- Know your personality
Sometimes your skills and experience isn’t what makes a job the perfect fit for you, it can actually come down to your personality and how it would fit in with the ethos of a company and their existing team.
You might not properly understand the way a company operates until you start to engage with them, but you can pick up some clues to this through job advertisements; look for things like working hours and perks that would be made available to you.
In the meantime, you could try to get to know yourself a bit better. There are plenty of books on personality types and business, or you could take a Myers-Briggs personality test (the Guardian says this is the most prevalent test used by British businesses). There is a fee, but more basic, personality test available online on 16personalities.com.
- Consider their size
Another important aspect to think about is the size of business you would prefer to work for. You should get some insights into this based on doing a personality test, but you can also consider other areas of your life and how you prefer to work and live.
Do you like spending time alone, in a small group, or do you prefer the energy of a big team pulling together to achieve something? There is no right answer here, it should just help you to learn whether to approach either a small start-up, SME or a larger business.
- Think about your degree
- Figure out your work/life balance
Practical life questions now: where do you live, and where do you want to work? Maybe you’ll be happy enough to move for your dream job, but you might also want to stay put. If the latter is true, will you only apply for jobs that are nearby, or will you be able to commute to where you need to be?
Thinking about this now can save you a lot of stress later down the line. Think about the costs associated with each of these scenarios, but also how it will affect your work/life balance. Will you still be able to do the things you enjoy outside of work after accepting a job offer that could change your living or travelling circumstances?
- Contemplate your three-year plan
Finally, try and map out a rough three-year plan. You might not end up following it to a tee, but having an idea of where you want to go can help you to make decisions in the coming months.
Take cues from how you worked during your degree course at university. Did you prefer projects where you got to spend time researching and writing alone, or was it the group work that got you out of bed in the morning?
Away from that, also think about how you worked with deadlines. Were you really organised and got things done in plenty of time so you could make room for revisions and changes, or did you like the thrill of working up until the last possible minute?
It’s this type of analysis that will give you insights into how you will deal with stressors in your potential workplace going forwards.
Bianca Miller is a brand ambassador for the .uk domain names, and managing director and founder of The Be Group and Bianca Miller London. Passionate about helping others improve their personal brand, she frequently shares her expertise with students at events and forums around the country. For students wanting to boost their online brand with their own website, Bianca recommends visiting ecohosting; packages will be on offer to those who would like to create a .uk domain name.
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