Even if you're a highly qualified, experienced engineering or manufacturing professional, your hunt for the next role could take some time and call for extra motivation. This could be because of challenging economic conditions, fewer roles available in the engineering and manufacturing sector, the time of year you’re looking to switch jobs (companies rarely hire over the Christmas and new year period), or the sheer seniority of the role you’re after (senior opportunities typically take longer to secure than middle-management positions).
It's easy to become demoralised or lose motivation during a long job hunt. But keep these 4 tips in mind to boost your motivation and momentum:
- Have a clear vision
- Be specific in your goals and what you want to achieve. Write an imaginary job description for your ideal position to help you focus on what you really want from your new role.
- Always keep your ultimate career goal at the front of your mind and try to regularly envisage achieving it. A key to motivation and success is envisaging what you want, not focusing on what you don’t want or haven't enjoyed in past roles.
Aim high, but stay realistic. There may be several stages involved in reaching your end goal. It may not be a simple, one-step process. Identify the different stages that will eventually lead you to the result you want, and establish what you can do straight away to achieve that first step.
- Up-skill and fill a gap
- Identify any gaps in your knowledge or experience. Consider addressing this with extra training or by seeking out new projects in your current organisation that could give you an edge.
- If you're in the early stages of your career, think about engaging a mentor to understand the career benefits and perks you may be working towards, which should keep your motivation high in the often-unglorified work of entry-level roles.
Similarly, if you're keen to learn more about a specific area of the engineering or manufacturing industry, get in touch with the contacts in your network who are already working or contributing in that space. You may be able to find someone who can share their knowledge and experience with you. This could range from a chat over coffee to shadowing them on a particular project. If you never ask, you might be missing out on valuable skill-sharing opportunities.
- Keep it fresh
- A job search can easily become stale, and motivation levels can wane, if it has been going on for a while. Try not to continually use the same channels to hunt for new positions, as a limited scope will produce limited success. Broaden your search by trying a different mix of websites, trade publications, job boards and other targeted channels that are popular in the engineering or manufacturing spaces.
- Especially if you're currently out of work, write a list at the start of each week with 3 new approaches you could take to your job hunt. Aim to address each item on your list by the end of the week.
Remember to tap into social media. Although engineering and manufacturing employers typically take a more traditional approach to recruitment, social media is still a prominent channel to learn about job openings, whether it’s by word of mouth or through official advertisements. Follow the “influencers” in your industry on Twitter and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date.
- Boost morale
Consider these simple exercises to maintain a positive outlook and keep motivation high:
- Write a list of your top 10 professional qualities or skills that would make you a real catch for any employer. Are you selling these effectively on your CV and at interview?
- Remind yourself of past achievements and previous successes on a regular basis.
- Take breaks from your job search occasionally. Especially if you're out of work, keep busy and motivated with activities you enjoy. This may be a voluntary project or a relevant night course.
- Ask former colleagues and employers to write a short recommendation for you on your LinkedIn profile. Their positive comments are twofold: they’ll enhance your online profile and boost your confidence. Let these positive remarks remind you of your strengths and what other people value in you personally and professionally.