I speak from personal experience when I say that when you make a career move, you need to have a strong plan. Every choice you make along the way can impact your career growth.
In the past five years of my career in Human Resources, I’ve made a few conscious career changes to make my skillset as well-rounded as possible. Now, with the first-hand experience from multiple industries and sectors, small local organisations and large multinationals, I am in a much stronger position than I was five years ago.
As the adage goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail. For anyone thinking of making a career move, for instance, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want and a strategy for how you’re going to get there.
When you consider whether a company is the right next move in your career, ask yourself these five questions:
Read the job description thoroughly, highlighting as you go. This will help you decide firstly whether you have the required skills, experience and competencies to help you succeed in the role.
Secondly, consider whether the role allows you to build on strengths and help you get the career progression you want. If the company has annual reviews, for example, find out if its business strategy prioritises your areas of expertise.
You don’t have to tick every single box in the job description. If it’s a job you really want, however, this is a prime opportunity for you to identify any gaps in your skillset.
Do your research into the company to decide whether you align with their values and workplace culture.
The company website, LinkedIn profile and social media channels, for example, will provide insights into what they stand for and help you get to grips with the product or service and customer proposition.
For information on what it’s like to work there, check out staff reviews on Glassdoor and SEEK. Additionally, you can approach connections on LinkedIn who have worked at the organisation and find out if they are happy to share insights.
Find out how many people are on the team and who you would be reporting to. Is the team large or small? Are the structures rigid or dynamic?
You may be able to get information about the organisational structure on their company profiles on SEEK or LinkedIn. Otherwise, you can ask your recruiter for insights or contact the company directly to ask for additional information.
Consider the experience you’ve had to date and what you want in your next career change. Your professional portfolio may increase in value if you diversify the kind of organisations you have worked for. Or, you might prefer to specialise in a certain organisational size, industry or sector.
If you are looking for a new career move, perhaps it’s because you feel you have gained as much experience as possible at your current company.
Employers who invest in your professional development will keep you more engaged in the job. Find out what learning and development opportunities they offer and this will help you decide whether this next move will help you to progress.
The salary is, of course, a very important consideration to make so don’t shy away from asking about money. Find out if the salary is competitive, for example, using the filter functionality on SEEK or considering whether the role falls under an award or agreement which would give you an idea (generally available on Google). If the salary is a bit lower than you would have expected, balance this up in your decision making with the opportunities for progression.
In Marie Kondo style, does the role spark joy? If it does, bring that enthusiasm and energy to the interview. We all know what time of day we are at our best. Try to arrange the interview time for a morning if you are a morning person or vice versa, for example.
When you go for an interview, remember that it’s not just you being assessed. You are also considering whether they are the right career move for you.
Bring plenty of questions to the interview to demonstrate your interest and grasp of the role, company and challenges. Be honest and open, asking questions about any aspects you are unsure about and being clear about your ‘deal-breakers’.
Your career plan is similar to a business plan. To get to where you want to go, you need to strategise your every move. At whatever stage you’re at in your career, consider getting a career coach to help you navigate career changes successfully.
You don’t have to do it alone. We can help you chase your career dreams with our specialised career coaching platform. Get in touch for more information.
by Ben Robinson | Senior Consultant and Coach | Balance at Work
"In a challenging role in a new organisation, coaching with Paula was the ideal time to reflect, problem-solve, brainstorm options and arm me with next steps in all areas - from staffing, internal politics and relationships to tackling key initiatives. The sessions were by video and face to face, both equally effective. Using video allowed for easy integration of sessions into my busy workdays without any hassle. Paula’s style of coaching quickly built trust so I felt safe being vulnerable, quickly getting to the heart of a number of issues and propelling me and my performance forward significantly!"
- Executive GM, People and Culture
"The last couple of years at batyr has seen incredible growth and the Balance at Work team has supported us along the way. They have helped us improve leadership skills across the team by helping us source and manage mentors, and even engaging as mentors themselves. As a young and fresh CEO Susan has also supported me personally with genuine feedback and fearless advice to achieve great things."
Sam Refshauge - CEO, batyr
"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
Jessica Hill - Head of People and Culture, Choice
"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
Chris Bulmer - National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
"We use Harrison Assessments with our clients to support their recruitment processes. We especially value the comprehensive customisable features that allow us to ensure the best possible fit within a company, team and position. Balance at Work is always one phone call away. We appreciate their valuable input and their coaching solutions have also given great support to our clients."
Benoit Ribe - HR Solutions Manager, Polyglot Group
"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead employee and team development sessions."
Shaun Stanfield - Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet