Have you made any new year’s resolutions? Along with “lose weight” and “go to the gym more”, “get a new job” regularly features in the top 10 lists of New Year’s resolutions each year. However, if you’re job hunting because you’ve had enough of the job you are currently in, you may need to do a bit of mental groundwork before starting your job hunt.
The first step to preparing for looking for a new job is to make sure that your CV is up-to-date, and up-to-scratch. A huge factor in whether your CV has impact or not, is whether it describes your achievements, rather than just listing your responsibilities. If all you can think about when you reflect on your current role is how much you want to leave it, remembering and describing those achievements may seem like a tall order.
‘Negativity bias’ is a proven psychological phenomenon, where humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories. Researchers have also found that occasional ‘big’ positive events do not have sufficient impact on the brain to overlook this negativity bias. This means that even if you’ve delivered some really great achievements in your work over the past few years, if on a day to day basis, you are now bored and de-motivated, or battling unpleasant office politics, it’s going to be harder to recall them.
Try to overcome this negativity bias by focusing on what attracted you to your current job in the first place, and remembering the feelings of enthusiasm that you had when you started in the role. What projects did you deliver? What big challenges did you face and triumph over; what are you most proud of having achieved in the last few years?
This is where a CV coach can come in useful, as they will ask you lots of open questions, digging through the self-deprecating comments, and helping you to remember the key details. This can then be converted into an attention-grabbing CV, which should fill you with positive job-hunting energy when you look at the skills, experience and achievements that you will be taking to a new role. Regaining some of your previous energy and enthusiasm (albeit for a new role rather than your current one) will positively impact on your job search, as well as your interview performance. Remember, employers are generally looking for candidates who actively want their specific job, not people who just want any job to get away from their previous employer.
So start remembering the good times and get the job you deserve – now!