Thanks to ever-evolving hiring and recruiting technology and the rise of the gig economy, the job search process has changed dramatically in recent years. Paper resumes have been replaced by LinkedIn, and online application portals and candidates are now vying for side projects and contract gigs, instead of solely full-time work.
Of course, some things about job hunting haven’t changed — the importance of networking and properly branding yourself, for instance — but it’s important to keep up with the latest job market trends to give yourself a competitive edge.
Fifteen members of Forbes Coaches Council offered their best advice for anyone looking to make a near-term move in their career.
1. Have A Side Hustle
If you’re considering a career move, make sure you take time outside of your current job to explore your options. If you’re looking for a new job, start connecting with people in your personal and professional network now. If you want to own your own business, start that business now, even if it’s for an hour a week. Setting a foundation for your move helps you confidently make the transition. – Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
2. Network Before You Need To
Let’s face it: It’s still a “who you know” world out there, perhaps now more than ever. My advice for anyone wanting to advance their career is to adopt a give and take habit when it comes networking and put it into constant practice. Much like caring for our health and well-being, healthy career habits include building and maintaining relationships long term, and helping others when we can. – Jill Hauwiller, Leadership Refinery
3. Engage With Thought Leaders On Social Media
Social media can be a valuable tool if used correctly. If you are looking to make a move, make sure you engage with other thought leaders in the field/industry in which you plan to move to. Tools like LinkedIn make it easy to do if you have something of value to say. Constantly adding value to the community will put you in a position to easily create options. – Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.
4. Write Your Own Mission Statement
Write a personal mission statement to guide you: “I use my strength of X to serve population or cause Y because I value Z.” This is a simple and elegant formula for anyone who wants to become clearer about their why and what drives them. Feel free to tweak it. Here’s (one of) mine: “I use my strength of learning to serve young professionals because I love developing future leaders.” – Vik Kapoor, Esq., Extra-M Coaching
5. Consider How You Might Fit Into The Gig Economy
Pay serious attention to the gig economy. Experts report that as early as 2020, a majority of global workers will become members of this new way of work. Develop your skills, network and brand to make yourself attractive to potential business partners and clients. You will be your own business, and it’s not a matter of if, but when. Be ready! – Kenneth Johnson, East Coast Executives
6. Put Yourself In The Driver’s Seat Of Your Career
Your career trajectory isn’t up to your boss or manager; it’s up to you! If you want a promotion, recognition or new challenges, take the wheel and drive yourself places. This means consistent investment in career development; not waiting for others to present opportunities. Establish goals, chase prospects and build your network. Create a plan to control how your career proceeds and succeeds! – Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions
7. Don’t Limit Yourself
So many people don’t make moves because they don’t meet all the qualifications for a role, even though they meet a lot of them. Nothing will happen unless you act! Get a plan, really assess yourself and where you want to be, and then go for it. Failing hard is better than not trying at all. And guess what? That’s where your growth into the next role might come from. – Kari Price, The Art of Being a BOSS
8. Network Within The Startup Community
As careers and businesses change, the disruptors in business can often be found in new companies and in the startup space. Even established executives should not ignore the bonds they could build with early-stage companies. New ideas, new energy and even incredible established business connections can be made by building key relationships within the startup world. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
9. Know Your Strengths
If you don’t know your professional strengths, you won’t be able to communicate the value you bring to a potential employer. Make sure you have a strong elevator pitch, and that your resume and cover letter clearly demonstrate what you can do for the organization you’re applying to. You’ll have no trouble building a successful career. – Arno Markus, iCareerSolutions
10. Enhance Your In-Demand Soft Skills
Soft skills are the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace. The most in-demand soft skills are leadership, your discovery of your “True North” to become an authentic leader; communication, your ability to listen actively and build relationships; collaboration, your ability to work well with others; and time management, your ability to work under pressure. – Maria Pastore, Maria Pastore Coaching
11. Let Go Of The ‘Dream Job’ Idea
Avoid the trap of thinking there is one perfect job for you. Looking at it from an abundance perspective rather than a scarcity mindset allows you to act with confidence, rather than fear. Ask yourself if this move will help you become more satisfied or an improved version of you. If so, then look more closely at the reality of the context (e.g., salary, location, duties) to aid the decision. – Peter Stewart, Stewart Leadership
12. Understand And Articulate Your Professional Value
If you want to make a smart and successful career move, you must understand your professional value! Develop an “Impact Inventory” that lists your professional accomplishments. Consider specific examples of instances when you have positively impacted the business, team or a project. Articulate your impact in your resume, on LinkedIn and during interviews to communicate your value. – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC
13. Practice Resilience
The job market can be hard, and making career moves can be even harder, but this can be your chance to practice resilience. Resilience is your ability to bounce back from setbacks quickly. So, if you find yourself in a difficult job situation, tell yourself that no matter what, you will win. Nothing can stop a person who has the determination to succeed, not even a crappy job market. – Kiki Ramsey, Kiki Ramsey International
14. Connect With Recruiters
Many companies outsource their hiring process to recruiting companies. If you following the major recruiting companies and get to know the top recruiters at those companies, you’ll be a step ahead of most people in the job market. Even if the company you want to work for doesn’t use a recruiting company, they will probably have a similar screening or interview process. – Lori Manns, Quality Media Consultant Group
15. Define Your Reasons For And Benefits Of A Transition
Successful career transition initially turns on self-reflection, which helps you find honorable reasons for change. Post reflection, candidates must craft and deliver a compelling story articulating the logic behind their reasoning. Obtaining an offer requires demonstrating a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and how your skills will better execute the strategies that meet objectives. – Elaine Rosenblum, J.D., ProForm U®