A new year, a new job? If you’re keen to make the next step in your career, then here are four things you can do this year to help make it happen:
Update your CV
Spend some time polishing off your CV so that you’re ready when a suitable job is advertised. This can often take longer than you think – not only do you need to ensure your working history is up-to-date, you might like to change your references, which may require a courtesy call. Or maybe it’s time to overhaul the document altogether? If you’re just adding extra sentences to the same CV you first made when you left school, it’s possible it’s no longer working for you. Look online for examples of CVs others have done – there are endless ways of presenting the same information; choose one that promotes your strengths and which would be most attractive to an employer in your field.
Do you need new skills?
Spend some time thinking about what additional skills will help you make the next step in your career. This could mean taking your knowledge of your discipline even deeper via a postgraduate or specialist course, or it could mean developing other, non-engineering skills to boost your employability. A better understanding of business and finance, for example, may boost your confidence in conversations with clients and stakeholders, while acquiring language skills may put you in prime position when an overseas role comes up.
Move on without moving out
Making progress in your career doesn’t need to involve leaving your current role. You can make yourself more employable by taking advantage of any in-house courses or by taking on more responsibilities at work to bolster your experience. Speak to your manager about what opportunities may be available to you.
Expand your network
Word of mouth counts for a lot when looking for new opportunities, so it’s worth expanding your network. At work, use online message boards to promote yourself as knowledgeable in your field, and join any relevant working groups to meet people in related disciplines. Outside of work, make an effort to attend industry events and to join associations, membership bodies or interest groups where you can connect with others. Set up a LinkedIn profile and use it as a central source of everything you do. Keep it up-to-date and reach out to people you would like to connect with, and tell them why you would like to connect. And it’s worth expanding your circle of friends and contacts unrelated to engineering too; our skills are highly sought after in many industries and you may find your dream role in the most unexpected of places.