Picture the scene. It’s 18:00 on Wednesday 1st January 2020. You’re feeling close-to-human again after celebrating the New Year and then it hits you, you’ve got to go back to work… tomorrow. Your wallet, kidneys, diet and motivation have probably all taken a monumental kicking over the festive period. A distant relative probably asked you ‘How’s work these days?’ or ‘Are you still working there?’ in an incredulous tone that made you reach for a fifth glass of Bucks Fizz, but that’s ok, work is still days away. Suddenly though, it’s not, it’s tomorrow. The decision you need to make now is, is this just typical post-holiday blues? Or are you genuinely dreading the idea of walking into work tomorrow and telling people that your Christmas was great whilst working out how you’re going to make £32 last the 19 weeks of January, all whilst trying to find a morsel of motivation to open up your emails?
If it’s the latter, you’re in luck, because January is a great time to look for a new role. Employers know this too so they prepare, and they’re ready for the war for talent. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, it’s a competitive time for a job search, so here are some rules to maximise your chances of being able to call that distant relative and tell them allll about your new role!
1. Don’t just apply for everything – Like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, you’ll end up with a reputation, in this example, for applying for jobs you’re not qualified for, or applying for jobs you’re too expensive for, you know exactly why you are
2. Do be contactable – Unless you’re a full-stack developer in 10 different languages, recruiters won’t try forever, they’ll just assume you’re a tyre-kicker and move on, especially in January when lots of people are looking
3. Don’t expect the world – you’re not getting more money for a shorter commute and less responsibility, just like you’re not keeping a night-shift allowance if you’re only going to work days
4. Do delete the word passionate from your CV, covering letter and LinkedIn profile – according to the dictionary, it means ‘having, showing, or caused by strong feelings or beliefs’. You feel like that about whether pineapple belongs on pizza (it doesn’t) or whether the milk goes in first or last (it goes in last), you definitely don’t feel like that about administration or compliance
5. Don’t be deceived by fake grass and ping-pong tables – having them doesn’t make it a great place to work and whilst it might look good on your Instagram page, but if you’re too miserable and overworked to ever play ping-pong, what’s the point of it?
6. Definitely, definitely, definitely do work hard on your applications – this one’s less fun but the most important. ANYTHING at all that will make you stand out is a great thing. We once compared recruitment to dating in a job ad and an applicant had mocked up an online dating page to send alongside their CV. Standing out is the same as being outstanding, only semantics separate the two
We get it, being a bit down about going back to work after the festive period is par for the course, but if it’s more than that, if you felt like it before you even finished work for Christmas, it’s time to make a serious attempt at finding the right, not just any, move for you.
Even if you’d just like some market insight or advice in your sector ahead of a concerted job search in January, our experienced consultants are here to help. You’ll get them on 0191 4926622. If you want to argue about pineapple on pizza or when the milk goes in, we’re up for the debate…
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