5 Ways to Get Ready for Your Next Job Opportunity

“I could submit an application. The position seems like a good fit.”

“I would have applied for that job if I thought I really had a chance.”

“I should have thrown my hat in the ring. They hired someone with less experience than me.”

Whether we’re talking about a career change or a job change it requires discernment. Learn how to prepare for these decisions and be open to the growth, knowledge, and new possibilities that accompany them.

There will be many crossroads in our career paths. Deciding which path is best can strike fear in the hearts of those who derive security from sticking with what they know. We tend to shy away from decisions that bring us face to face with our most primal fears like rejection, failure and change.

We love our routines. We like things to be familiar and make us feel comfortable, like knowing where to stand on the train platform when the doors open. Familiar + comfortable=secure.

Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to take a risk? Step into unfamiliar territory? Or be the first to extend our hand to someone we’ve yet to meet?

Risk and change are part of life. It’s called appropriate risk in the finance world, appropriate for ones circumstance, time horizon, and comfort level. People in high rise buildings take appropriate risk when they step into an elevator and hit the button for the 44th floor. So does someone choosing elective surgery because of a genetic pre-disposition to a serious disease down the road.

Job change involves appropriate risk too. If we don’t take that risk, we become vulnerable to change being imposed upon us because of an economic downturn, acquisition, management change, or layoff.

Here are five ways to get ready for the next job opportunity:

  • Have your resume ready. Once we start a new job, our resumes go into hibernation. Keep a file of projects, accomplishments and accolades. You will not remember all you’ve done and it will be nice to have several success stories to choose from.
  • Update your reference list. Reach out to those you selected to speak on your behalf. They are part of your network and have been instrumental in your success otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen them as references.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is polished and up to date. Consider a professional writer for this. Someone who has been trained to ignite curiosity in the reader’s mind using those 2000 characters allotted for the summary. LinkedIn is a powerful tool and the first place recruiters go when filling positions.
  • Stay plugged in. Whether in IT, marketing, health care, or banking, join LinkedIn groups, make comments, send congratulatory messages. People will notice.
  • Join a professional association that has local chapters and attend the meetings. People hire people they know and like. I have seen the power of this resource in action.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Seneca, Roman Philosopher (4BC–65AD)