Putting Your Best Foot Forward
2020 has proven to be a year where resilience, personal character and self esteem have been tested. It has also been a year that brought about a host of changes, and depending on your situation, you have had to react, adapt or be proactive. As a candidate, this can be nerve-wracking when it comes to job searching as not only have interview practices changed to be more digital/online, it may have been a while since your last interview, or you may be up against many more candidates due to the current market. Being out of work and interviewing aren’t the only things causing stress for people at the moment; performing well in your current role and getting the best out of yourself are also things that may be playing on your mind. Below I cover off tips and advice on how to manage this!
Interviewing at the best of times can be stressful, but when you throw in the reduced ability to read body cues of your interviewer over VC and having to worry about whether or not your internet/video capabilities can hold up for the full hour, you will be reaching for that wine bottle before you know it! Now I’m not here to tell you that you need to dress to impress, or make sure your camera, microphone and screen are all in check, or that you need to showcase your best self or to hide your children/pets/partners/housemates – we all know this! I’m here to tell you that above all, what you need to do is make sure you are mentally ready, aware of what the market is looking for and last but not least, prep yourself and know what you want. This is particularly important for those of you who have unfortunately been out of work for an extended period of time, as you may need additional preparation and support to prepare mentally.
There are definitely areas that businesses are focusing on when hiring right now and ways you can help yourself when searching for the right role. These include:
•Hiring industry specialists: the best piece of advice here is to make sure you aren’t throwing yourself too far outside of your experience and area/s of expertise. Businesses are making a note of this, and whilst pre-2020 companies were in some cases happy to look outside of their industry, there are a number of industries that require specialised attention and specific expertise.
•Culture: this is still super important, even with most people still working remotely. Hiring people who share and exhibit company values is still very important – maybe even more so now!
•Trust yourself and be yourself: as you would in person, trust that being yourself is still the best way to portray yourself. Just like in a “normal world”, people’s personalities still clearly show over time, whether they are working remotely or in the office.
•Pain is being shared all round: you have to remember - you aren’t the only one feeling pain. Businesses are also in pain, with resources generally being reduced and a high work output still required. Be as empathetic to their circumstances as they are to yours.
•Speak to specialists: there is no harm in seeking advice. Recruiters are keeping a close eye on their respective industries. Rely on them, ask them questions and don’t be afraid to use their knowledge and services to your advantage.
People out of work and interviewing aren’t the only ones going through a tough period - people in roles are also feeling the pinch. It may be due to reduced pay or resources, maybe some of your closest work colleagues have been made redundant, or working from home has taken its toll for people who rely on social interaction at work to maintain a healthy state of mind.
However, it is equally as important for you to make sure you are doing all you can to drive the highest performance possible in your role. Some things you can keep in mind are:
•Don’t over complicate things: if you are stuck in a rut, go back to basics. Make sure your strengths are still your strengths and continue building from there.
•Identify your gaps and fill them: take a moment and assess. What are the areas that you can grow, develop and adapt? Understand them and build on them.
•Mindset – again: keep a positive mindset. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we have turned a corner. Don’t let the negative take over your thoughts.
•Rest & Reset: Give yourself the chance to take a break, reset your thoughts and return to work refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
As a society, we have learnt resilience for self, compassion for others and what remote working looks like. It’s not a one-size fits all situation, but if you can find what works for you, rely on your skills and industry knowledge – it will go a long way to secure your next role or excel in your current role. Continue putting your best foot forward!
Adam is a Senior Consultant specialising in the recruitment of Product, Marketing and Digital professionals across Banking, Payments and Insurance. He is known as the Sports Addict and also the in-house DJ, being in charge of the Parity Spotify playlist! For a confidential discussion, Adam can be contacted on 0410 001 635 or firstname.lastname@example.org