How Finding a Job is Like Buying a House
Changing jobs and moving house is up there amongst the top 10 most stressful life events. Having spent the past few months searching for and eventually buying a new house, it was apparent how similar the process and the emotions can be. There are disappointments, setbacks and a roller coaster of emotions. Not to mention a lot of time, organisation and hard work. Here’s what I learned about how to apply house-buying strategies to your job search.
Be clear on what you want
Just as you would create a wish list for your perfect house, you need to be clear on what your ideal job would look like. Job title, salary, location, company culture, training and professional development – these are all important factors to consider, and you need to be clear on what you are willing to compromise on. Understanding your skills, strengths and weaknesses will help to make sure you are applying for the most suitable jobs. Knowing yourself and having a wish list will also help you to answer those dreaded interview questions, “Tell me about yourself”, and “Why do you want this job?” You will have already figured this out and will know what you can contribute.
Do your research
Searching for houses on Domain is a lot like searching for jobs on Seek. You can spend hours on job websites, reading about the benefits and requirements of jobs, but it can be hard keeping track of which ones you should apply for, the skills you need, and what the company stands for. Reviewing your target companies’ websites and researching company profiles on resources like Glassdoor, will help you to better understand their culture, expectations and demand for your skills. You can also find out more about career paths and job profiles via websites like Job Outlook. Creating a simple spreadsheet to collect all of this research, will help you keep track of suitable jobs and you’ll be able to see that you’re making progress, rather than trying to keep it all in your head and feeling like you’re getting nowhere.
Be friendly with the agents
We’ve all heard negative stories about real estate agents and recruiters. Whatever you may think of recruiters, they are often the gatekeeper between you and your dream job. So instead of seeing them as the opposition, make an effort to build a relationship based on respect and courtesy. Instead of complaining to the recruiter that you haven’t heard back about your application, take it as an opportunity to reach out and reaffirm your enthusiasm for the role and explain how your unique skills and experience match their requirements. Even if you don’t get that first job you apply for, they will remember your approach when considering you for future roles.
Tap into your network
Just as many houses are sold ‘off-market’ through a network of potential buyers, over 80% of jobs are secured through networking – not by applying to a job ad. This means it’s so important to reach out to your peers, previous colleagues, family and friends, to seek out job opportunities and make it known that you are looking for a new role. LinkedIn is one way to reconnect with old contacts as well as for identifying new people to connect with. If you don’t have any contacts in your desired field, find the professional association or community you belong to and attend events where you can meet new people and learn about opportunities.
Negotiate on price
There is plenty of advice out there on how to make an offer on a house. The principles are the same when negotiating your salary. Know your worth by doing your research, via websites such as PayScale, on what other jobs in your field are paying and what the market rate is for someone with your knowledge and experience. Have a bottom line figure in mind that is your non-negotiable base salary. Consider the career growth and learning opportunities on offer and whether it’s worth being flexible to get your first step on the ladder.
With a little research and planning, finding a job doesn’t have to be one of your most stressful life events.
Feature Image Courtesy of Pexels
By Candy Jenkins
Postgraduate Career Coach
Candy Jenkins is the Postgraduate Career Coach at UTS Careers, where she helps students through one-to-one career consultations and group workshops on career development and employability. She is passionate about helping students to understand their unique value proposition, land their dream job, and achieve their career goals.