Leadership Blog

Posted By: Eva Grabner | on March 31 2015

Taking a break? Don’t!

You’ve left your job, you need a break, but don’t take your eye off the job market! This is how.

In speaking with a number of candidates lately, I’ve noticed a pattern. They have either resigned or been made redundant at the end of the year and knowing that it was traditionally a ‘no-hire’ period, and they had the means to continue to support themselves and their families, they decided to take a well-deserved break.

That in itself is fine, we all need a break now and again and especially if you have been through the stress of a redundancy, a break is a good thing.

By late January, early February most have commenced the process of looking for work. However, it’s now April and they are still looking. This can be a bit of a shock, especially to those who have never been out of work for long periods before.

If you are ever faced with this situation, no matter what time of the year it is, here are five tips to better prepare yourself for finding the job you want, quickly. :

  1. Register with at least two or three reputable recruitment firms. Do this as soon as you leave your last role. Ask colleagues you trust for a referral so you can contact a specific person. Email your resume to them, then follow up with a call with a view to arranging a meeting . Advise them you are not in a rush, but to keep you informed of opportunities regardless. This way, should a role come through, you can always negotiate a later start date and still have that break.
  2. Stay active on LinkedIn. Don’t just put up ‘looking for opportunities’ then walk away. Stay active on a daily basis, search the job board, update your status, and keep an eye on what is happening in your sector.
  3. Call your contacts. If you are back on the job market, call your contacts. Let them know you are available and to keep you in mind should they hear of any openings. Again, this could take weeks, but at least you’re in the mind of a prospective employer or referral.
  4. Update your resume Many executives have not required a resume for years due to being ‘head hunted’, however, it’s extremely important to have a clear, defined summary of your capabilities, your achievements and your employment history. Remember this is an evolving document and will need to be targeted (along with a suitable cover letter) to each role you apply for.
  5. Enjoy your break, relax, spend time with your family, but don’t decline conversations, meetings and other networking opportunities just because ‘you’re on a sabbatical’. Take at least an hour a week to do all of the above and I promise you, when you do start searching actively again, it will be a much smoother transition back into the world of job hunting!

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