Last summer, I decided that it was time to find a new job. Since graduating I had been quite lucky and fallen into jobs, but this time the hunt was a tactical career move. I was looking for more responsibility, better pay, and a company that I could see myself progressing in. It took me just under a month to land myself something new but in that month I learnt a lot about the job hunting process:
Job hunting is a full time job
I was meeting recruiters before work, on my lunch break, and after work. I was filling in applications on my lunchbreak, searching for opportunities on my commute, and kept having to pop out of the office to answer my phone – obviously this was all whilst trying to make it not look like I was job hunting. It was exhausting!
Using a recruiter can make life so much easier
All those people who have messaged you on LinkedIn in the past six months will become invaluable to you. Recruiters should know the sector you are applying for well. They should suggest companies and positions that you may not have considered before and present opportunities which aren’t being widely advertised. In my experience, using a recruiter saves you hours of trawling through websites and filling out endless application forms, generally making the process move much quicker. Some even give you a present when you start your new job (well they are making ££££s in commission…)!
Recruiters can also be your worst nightmare
Some recruiters are wonderful and will really take the time to get to know you and understand what you want. Other recruiters may try to talk you into doing something you clearly have no interest in because they’re finding it hard to fill the position and want the commission – Technology PR, anyone? I never trust a recruiter who isn’t interested in meeting face to face. I once had a recruiter open with ‘Hi Emma’, which sent immediate alarm bells ringing. If you can’t even get my name right, what chance do you have of finding me the right job? Always remember that, although they want to help you find a job that you will enjoy and excel at, they also want the commission and the relationship with the client that placing you in a job will provide them with. Once you have passed your probation, it won’t matter to them if you like your job or not.
You will spend a small fortune in coffee shops
I was amazed at how much of my job hunting life was spent in coffee shops! Meeting recruiters, escaping the office for phone interviews, doing interview prep and hanging around between interviews were all reasons I built up quite a stack of Caffè Nero loyalty stamps.
Sometimes they’ll ask you the most bizarre questions…
No amount of preparation will prepare you for when the MD interviewing you opens with ‘How are your wisdom teeth?’ – EEEPPP!