1. Understand what your values are
A former British diplomat to Iraq for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office once said that in any career, there are three things we can dream of having:
- A high salary
- Flexible working
- A job that is meaningful and/or interesting to you
There’s a catch though. He claimed that in most jobs, we can only prioritise two of the above goals at any one time. That doesn’t mean for certain you can’t have all three. But his advice poses a valuable starting point in the hunt for a job. Rank the above list of three things by importance. What is non-negotiable to you and what can you afford to compromise on? Build on these three key things by asking the following questions like:
- What is my ideal salary in my next role?
- Are there particular fields I want to pursue?
- How many hours/days am I willing to work on my job in the week?
Knowing your values helps you to know your worth, so you can pursue careers that will work for you. And with time, it’s also perfectly ok to re-evaluate your priorities. If your next job falls short of your expectations, it’s still a great chance for you to learn about your likes and dislikes.
2. Slide into those DMs
Not sure what a certain job or career might be like? Look out for people who in that industry and drop a personalised cold email, LinkedIn connect request or a Twitter DM to ask for advice.
Some jobs are not as glamourous as they’re made out to be and getting a real insight from the inside might be what you need. You’d be surprised at how helpful people can be and if you don’t hear back from them, don’t take it personally. There’s plenty of contacts out there to network with!
3. Keep an excel sheet of deadlines
Once you have an idea of the types of jobs you want to apply for, organise your time. Create a table and include columns for the following:
- Name of company
- Materials required e.g. cover letter? CV?
- Deadlines for application and interview stages
- Any contacts?
4. Don’t lose heart
The first application is the hardest but it’s a starting point to your future successes! Make sure you keep a copy of this and build upon it later for future applications.
5. Take care of your mental wellbeing
There will be rejections and your schedule can feel a little all over the place when you’re applying for jobs but make sure you take time out for yourself too, to stay productive.
6. Listen to feedback
Whether you do well or you don’t receive the outcome you hoped for, there’s always room to learn more about your strengths and the areas you can improve on. If there’s an opportunity to receive feedback, always request them to write it for you in an email. If the company tries to give you feedback over the phone, ask them to relay this in an email.
7. Enjoy the process!
The application process is as much of an opportunity for you to see if an organisation is a good fit for you as it is for them to see if you’re a good fit for them. If you’re reading this now, it’s because you have talent and skills to share – realise this is as much about you deciding where you want to share your value!
By Nimra Shahid
Nimra is an MA Interactive Journalism trainee, interested in data and social media habits (in the least creepiest way). She love’s listening to a good podcast and drinking a good cup of chai. You can find on her on Twitter @nimrashahid_
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.