You’ve made the decision. It’s time for a new job. What do you first? Do you update your resume? Do you reach out to networking contacts? There is no right or wrong place to start, but if you’re not sure what your first move should be, here are a few ideas. Start where you feel comfortable and then pick up speed as needed.
Your first move could be…
Reaching out to your contacts. Since most jobs are found through networking, this is a great place to start. The more people you talk to, the more word will spread that you are in the market for a new opportunity. Be willing to talk to everyone because you never know what can happen. When talking with contacts, be ready to tell them what you’re all about and what you hope to do. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice or introductions to others that may be able to help.
Updating your resume. You probably will need a resume at some point in your search, even if it is just a formality. Updating your resume can also give you an opportunity to review your career, outline your top accomplishments or figure out if you have any gaps to address before you apply for your next role.
Building your brand. Everyone has a brand. What does yours say about you? Do you have a professional brand or a nightmare? If an employer were to perform a Google search on your name – what would they find? How are your social profiles – work-friendly or work-scary? If your brand presence is not as good as you’d like, take some time to get some professional, positive bits out there, as well as clean up or delete items that may not look appealing to a potential employer.
Checking out job postings. Do you even know what kinds of jobs are available? Or where they are? Or who is hiring? Looking at job boards and company websites to get a feel of hiring activity may provide some hints on job availability and how competitive the job search will be.
Soul-searching. This may sound a bit philosophical, but it actually can be a great idea. How can you move on to a new opportunity if you don’t know what you’re looking for? Take some time to figure out what is important to you. Consider they type of work you want to do, your desired work environment/culture, location, stress level, commute, level of responsibility, etc. The more you know about what you want, the better match you should be able to find.
There’s no question there are many moving parts when it comes to looking for a new job. Where you choose to start is up to you! Good luck!