What job should I be applying for?

by Heat Recruitment

by Chris Birtle

Whether you’re fresh from university or an experienced member of the working world, figuring out what job you should be applying for is rarely straightforward. There are so many factors and variables that dictate workplace happiness and career success, so if you are just starting the search for a new job – it’s important to refine your focus.

There is nothing worse than starting a new role only to discover it isn’t what you had in mind, but it’s not always easy to determine which job will be the right fit for you. Before diving headfirst into your search, you may want to take a step back and consider the following:

Climbing the career ladder

Having a clear roadmap of the direction you want your career to go is always a great starting point to any application process. Carefully mapping out a route will certainly benefit your hunt in the long term, and breaking your journey down into tangible steps will help to shine a light on the level of role you should be applying for at your current stage.

If you’re at the start of your journey, for instance, your aim will be to gain as much experience as possible within your chosen sector in order to move to the next level. If you’re at a crossroads, consider how the experience you have already gained will serve you in a new role and how much responsibility you want and are prepared to handle.

What’s the next logical step in your road to success? Is a new challenge on the horizon or are you seeking a vertical move with the same duties in a different company? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself prior to any application.

Hard or soft?

When entering the jobs market, our natural instinct is to seek out roles that utilise the ‘hard’ skills we have developed in our educational and professional careers. Too often, we ignore the roles in which we could thrive from our soft skills; roles that require candidates with a self-motivated personality, impeccable oral and written communication skills, an ability to empathise and a knack for critical thinking.

Some positions will naturally place a much higher value on soft skills than hard ones, such as sales or human resources roles require you to interact face to face and therefore demand interpersonal abilities.

What’s in it for you?

The last decade has seen the drastic evolution of the employment landscape we once knew. Thanks to the influx of young talent into the workforce, leaders have had to change their tactics to attract rising stars. When you enter the jobs market, it’s more than likely you’ll be met with a stream of vacancy ads all offering their own variation of company perks – from free eye tests, free fruit and cycle to work scheme to duvet days and paid charity leave.

While employee treats will naturally have a hand in helping you decide which jobs to apply for, it’s worth considering how the role will fit into your lifestyle. If, for example, you require flexible working or childcare – some employers can be incredibly flexible to facilitate talented prospects. Most company websites are usually open about these perks, so remember to investigate potential employers before hitting send on that e-mail.

It’s not just a job…

Your primary concern may be climbing to the top rung on the career ladder, but that isn’t to say there aren’t other factors at play. Should your application be successful, this is the place you will spend the majority of your weeks, months or even years before you move on to a new role. Investigating the ethos and atmosphere of the particular company will prove beneficial to those who place importance on organisational culture: after all, there’s nothing worse than turning up to the “job of your dreams” only to discover it’s a house of horrors.

Companies that consistently rewards and acknowledges the achievements of their staff naturally rank highest in job satisfaction polls. You may think that uncovering a company’s culture at the application stage is impossible, but employment review sites like Glassdoor have removed the secrecy and usually paint and honest and representative view of a company’s internal culture.

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