If you’ve been scrolling though postings, avoiding your resume or just contemplating leaving your job, 2019 needs to be a year of changes.
Nir Zahavi, co-founder and CEO of Toronto corporate retreat startup Retreatify, said the idea of the perfect job or dream job is often multifaceted. While jobs may appear to be ideal, potential jobseekers should know no job is perfect. And if a career change has been top of mind, it’s time to make moves.
“Waiting is the worst thing you can do,” he told Global News. “There is a vast landscape of companies and startups creating new industries and fields.”
He also added that when you are looking for a new job, it’s best to treat the process like a full-time job (as much as you can). Start a spreadsheet of contacts, track how much time you spend on resumes and don’t forget to fit in a few informal coffee meetings.
Below, career and communications coach Fiona Bryan of Toronto and Zahavi go through some of the best ways to land a dream job in 2019.
Plan your timing
Bryan said going for a dream job should be strategic. In fact, there is a “right” time to make a move.
“There’s two pieces to timing,” she explained. “The economic timing… and when jobs are posted.”
If the previous year was a good economic year in the country, it’s smarter to apply for that dream job earlier. She said historically, January, February and September are months with more job postings — so prep work beforehand is key.
Know your value
What do you bring to your employer that others don’t? What problem can you solve that your employer needs help solving? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself, Bryan added, before you apply for a “dream” job.
“A dream job is great in our heads, but is it needed in the industry? A lot of people don’t know their value or they can’t articulate it.”
This takes practice, she added, especially if you are trying to change industries or careers.
Understanding your value in a company also means reassessing how you are selling yourself. Tailor each resume, cover letter or email to fit the needs of the employer, ensuring you stand out. There are tons of resources and experts online that can also help you understand these values, and it may also be worth it to talk to your current management to hash them out.
Play with apps
Zahavi said there are apps, like dating apps, designed for professionals to network. Shapr, for example, lets you filter through interests, professions and industries.
“You can search for hiring managers in HR, CEOs or a marketing manager,” he said.
“If you both swipe and get matched, you can start talking on the platform,” he said, adding that once you get comfortable with your match you can ask for coffee, network or even send your resume. Zahavi recently used the app to find some employees for his company.
Bumble Bizz (a branch of the popular dating site) allows professionals to connect, share and mentor one another. Bizzabo is a good way to find out about local networking events connected with your industry.
Zahavi noted that while there are more traditional ways to network for a dream job, these apps have allowed it to happen at a quicker speed.
Make a list (and reflect)
It’s one thing to not be happy with management, workplace culture or even your commute, but Bryan said there has to be a solid reason why you want to leave your current workplace.
“It’s somewhat obvious but can sometimes be more difficult,” she said.
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Bryan said a good way to work around the “why” is to list out the “why not.” Why don’t want you want to leave your current place? If one list outweighs the other, you may want to readjust in your current job before seeking a new one.
Have informal meetups
This may not apply to larger companies, but Zahavi said in the startup and entrepreneurial space it’s quite common to reach out to someone in your dream job and ask for an informal meeting.
“So many people get hired through referrals or people just reaching out,” he said.
This doesn’t mean showing up with a resume and cover letter, but rather getting one-on-one time to ask the employee what the work culture is like or what the day-to-day work looks like for the role.
Zahavi said LinkedIn is a good place to start, but company email addresses also work. Don’t reach out to someone on their private social media account or email.
Who do you already know?
Sometimes, your dream job is sitting right under your nose. Bryan said before applying for a dream job, it’s important to go through your own networks to see if anyone can act as your bridge.