You decided which job is your dream job. Now some food for thought….
Serious about your career? Then you need to be seriously committed to your dream job. Dedication is an understatement. So, in order to get the job you want, what are you prepared to sacrifice? Here are some considerations:
Talk the talk, or walk the walk? Depending upon location, job opportunities close to home may be limited or non-existent. Greater opportunities elsewhere may improve prospects, but may eat into chillax time.
The HR piece: Experience: The right job may be some distance away, but experience is essential to get onto the career ladder. Check out vacancies further afield which might be better suited to your career path. Identify transport links and required traveling time beforehand.
Productivity: Bear in mind that if a journey’s too long it may compromise your performance if you’re running on empty. Catching some zzzzz’s at your desk? Expect promotions to go to sharper, more focused and better engaged peers.
Work-life balance: Don’t underestimate how travel time can impact on personal life. Think carefully about personal obligations, important leisure pursuits or anything else you may not wish to sacrifice in exchange for longer traveling times. Alternatively, investigate organisations that offer flexible working policies, which may allow remote working.
Burning the candle at both ends? If you’re lucky enough to find a full time vacancy (they don’t grow on trees), you will find that most employment contracts stipulate working hours around 37 to 42 hours a week. Certain industries, like banking, may have longer contractual working hours - often with an expectation for overtime. Regular early starts and late finishes are tough. Throw lengthy journeys into the mix, and you’re working day is even longer.
The HR piece: In some industries - like banking - the pay off for the longer working day is a larger salary. But before chasing dollar signs, figure out if a reduction in your down time is worth a bigger pay cheque. Look at organisations which adopt progressive work life balance policies. They know that time is money, but also that your time is also a valuable commodity. The work hard play hard mantra isn’t unheard of, and neither is burnout. Think carefully before deciding what’s right for you.
If job advertisements don’t disclose working hours, check with recruitment managers or agencies representing these organisations before applying for a vacancy. Use the same sources to tap into info on company culture.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
You know where it’s at. Or do you? Industries like to locate themselves in certain geographical locations. If longer commutes aren’t an option, consider relocation. Moving to a new area may enhance job prospects, navigate commuting woes and potentially offer a bigger pay cheque.
The HR piece: Start researching: Identify prospective employer locations. Make informed choices by considering local infrastructure (educational facilities, shops and leisure activities), financial implications of house purchase or rental prices, and cost of living expenses, such as travel, eating out etc. Do a recky: Visit beforehand, familiarise yourself, and establish if the vibe of the place is right for you. Check out local job vacancies and register beforehand with agencies located in that area. And draw up a list of pro’s and cons, to help you make a decision
MOVE TO THE COUNTRY?
Or out of the country? Yup, it’s a biggie, but if you’re open to the idea of relocating to big city, how about a possible move to another country?
The HR piece: Work opportunities overseas can be limited, but options like the Australian young persons working holiday visa allow UK citizens under 30 to live and work in Australia between one and two years. Opportunities for employer sponsorship exist too. And overseas experience looks great when you’re writing a CV.
How important is money to you? With spiraling rental costs and increasing house prices, putting bread and butter on the table is only part of it. Even for those who rate personal satisfaction more highly than salary, this one requires some serious thinking.
The HR piece: If a vacancy you’re interested in doesn’t exist in your industry of choice, look elsewhere. Charitable and public sectors may not pay as well as the private sector, but a junior marketing role in a charity can act as a stepping stone into a marketing role in a blue chip firm in the future. If you can afford to live without income for a while, consider volunteering. This can develop important skills and experience that makes your CV appear more attractive to prospective employers. It also helps to plug gaps between jobs, which again is beneficial for your CV. Most organisations disclose a salary band before you interview. If the haven’t beforehand, don’t negotiate salary during an interview - wait until an offer is being made.