After years of jogging regularly, Nat fell out of the routine. Now, embracing #SmallHabits, she’s determined to get back on track. On Monday, she put her laptop away, laced up her shoes, and went for a two-hour powr walk with a friend. She was shocked by how easy it was – while she didn’t break any speed records, she also didn’t break her stride.
The lesson here? Having a basic fitness level makes starting a new exercise routine much easier. The same principle applies to job hunting. The more job-hunting ‘fitness’ you have before you begin the search, the better your starting position. So, whether you’re contemplating your goals for the year or reaching the limits of your current role, now is the perfect time to plan your next move.
Welcome to our first Powrsuit three-part series! Over the next few weeks, we’re getting job-hunting fit – think of it as jazzercise for your career. 🏃♀️
Getting deliberate (and recognised)
We’ve got two actions for you in this article. To get the most benefit, start by scheduling two separate 30 minute blocks in your calendar. This will give you the space to get deliberate with your planning!
1. Create a high-level career plan
Powrsuiters say yes to strategic opportunities. Because of this attitude, many of us have successfully navigated our way into great jobs in interesting organisations. But. What about the opportunities we didn’t know about? A strong theme from Powrsession coaching sessions is a desire to take more control over our careers. That means proactively identifying and seeking out roles that bring you closer to your goals.
Identifying those goals can be a big job in itself. It’s rare to meet someone whose career has followed any semblance of a straight line. However, a simple high-level plan is critical for identifying great opportunities. It also gives you the foundation to start hunting for them.
Like any good strategy, your career plan will change, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating one.
Your first 30-minute action
In your first 30 minute calendar slot, open a new blank document.
15 mins: Set a timer and spend 3 minutes answering each of these questions:
- What would be your dream job in 5-10 years (CEO, technical expert, project manager, engineer)?
- What strengths do you want to hone (if you haven’t already, identify your strengths first)?
- What experience or skills do you want to develop (people leadership, decision-making, conflict resolution, project management)?
- What do you value at work (collaboration, fast-moving, challenge, transparency, social impact, fairness, high salary, flexibility, etc)?
- What size and stage of organisation appeals (startup, small, large, transforming, multinational, etc)?
15 mins: Summarise what you’re looking for in your next role. For example: “On my path towards Chief Operating Officer, I want to build on my strategy, storytelling and coaching strengths. I need to gain experience managing senior stakeholders and owning decisions and want to work at a collaborative, flexible organisation – preferably in the public sector.”
2. Sort your current situation
The easiest way to position yourself for your next step? Leverage your current one.
Women are often on the back foot when it comes to being judged on potential. We’ve lost track of how many Powrsuiters are unofficially taking on responsibility at work until they ‘prove they can do the job well’. We’re kindly and clearly giving you permission to stop. You’re either managing a person or you aren’t. You’re either taking on the responsibilities of a role, or you aren’t.
Make no mistake: your job title and official responsibilities matter. These formal labels are the simplest way to ensure your experience is accurately positioned in the eyes of others. If you’ve taken on extra responsibility, the simplest way to set yourself up for future success is to ensure you’re getting recognition for it.
Your second 30-minute action
For your second 30 minute calendar block, re-open your document.
15 mins: List any unofficial tasks you’ve taken on (think people leadership, project management, committees, standing in for an absent manager).
15 mins: Craft an email to your manager with an agenda for your next one-on-one. For example:
A quick update on my professional development. Through Powrsuit, I’ve invested time in identifying my career goals and pinpointing the skills that will help me excel in my role (and beyond). I’d appreciate your support on the following:
1. As part of my current role, I’ve taken on additional responsibilities that aren’t officially reflected in my job title and description. Can we discuss how we can formalise these contributions to ensure my role represents the level I’m operating at?
2. I’d love your specific, actionable feedback on my path from here to my identified goals. Ideally, we can co-create an action plan.
I’d love to discuss these two points at our next one-on-one!
Thanks for your continued support,
Are you job-hunting fit?
Yes, ongoing work is involved in taking control of our careers. We promise it’ll pay off. Remember: just take it one step at a time – in less than an hour a week, you can have a measurable impact on your next move!
Anything you do this week to boost your baseline fitness will give you an advantage when making your next career move. Stay tuned for next week: identifying and preparing for your next step.
30 second action:
Lock two 30 minute blocks in this week’s calendar AND download the Powrsuit job-hunting fitness template.
- Part 2: Get job-hunting fit - Breaking the… How do you get experience if no one gives you the opportunity to gain it? Welcome to the second of a three-part series to help you be more intentional about your career.
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- Part 3: Get job-hunting fit - It’s who you know (and… In the final instalment of this three-part series, we're encouraging you to spread the word. Share your plans and ask for help (it's easier than you think)!
- The dos and don’ts of negotiating a job offer So you’ve been offered a new job, congrats! Here's everything you need to know before you say 'yes'.