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8 step guide to consider when looking for your next opportunity

Interviewing can be a particularly stressful time, especially whilst holding down a full time job.

I have helped candidates; friends and family members all find new careers and can speak from personal experience when saying it is not easy.

Below are a few simple steps that can help when looking at new opportunities and can help break down the stages when making a decision around a career move.

1. Get to know the firm’s employees – past and present
The job application process is not necessarily the best time to raise any doubts about the position you’re applying for. Maintain a veneer of excitement about the job until it gets to the offer stage and then start to get to know individuals in the firm.

2. Beware flashy job titles and above market pay
Flashy job titles are all too common in the property sector and property firms can be keen to pay top performers more in order to attract them. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re something special – the chances are if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. If there’s a one way flow of information, wonder why
You may be used to being quizzed within an inch of your life during an interview, but if it’s all about you, start to worry. Always be aware of companies who are only interested in your skills and experiences and who don’t share any information about their company. The interview is not only a chance for them to get to know you, but also for you to learn about them. Throughout the interview you should be asking questions and as long as you are not querying sensitive information, the employer should offer you insight, especially as employment is such an important decision.

4. Check employee turnover
If a potential new employer is a miserable place to work, or the boss is a nightmare, there will be plenty of collateral damage. If turnover is frequent within the organisation – or indeed the position you’re applying for – there’s a reason. Poor managers can potentially cause high turnover as can poor working environments and working style. I’d always recommend meeting a potential employer in a social and more relaxed environment where possible.

5. Check out the development opportunities upfront
It may be that the job you’re applying for expects you to come as the fully-formed article and is offering good pay, but little in the way of development opportunities. If this is OK with you, then obviously continue, but if training, development and career opportunities are your ultimate aim, make this clear. Although your company can help your career, you ultimate have to own it – make your aspirations known to any potential recruiter.

6. See the working environment
Again, it’s a case of removing the rose-tinted spectacles during the recruitment process and really seeing what it’s like to work in an organisation. If the opportunity is made available then go in for a couple of hours and see the dynamic of the team. If you don’t feel comfortable, back out before you start.

7. Find out everything you can about why the firm is recruiting for this job
Is it a new role? If not, why are they replacing the previous incumbent? Is it down to expansion? It is always advantageous to really identify what the exact reasons are for the position becoming available.

8. Ensure that you are still learning
Part of professional development isn’t just to take the promotion and get a new job title. Along the various steps of your career you should be enhancing your experience and CV through learning new things. When interviewing, encourage yourself to ask about training, courses and qualifications that are available to you.

If you break down the points above it should help you make a clearer and more pragmatic decision when looking at taking a career move.
Written by Alex Moore, Associate, Macdonald & Company, London - Residential Sales & Lettings.
Connect with Alex on LinkedIn Here