Job hunting?

I just finished a month of hunting for a new rental. With no end result. At every step I faced challenges and questions that left me flummoxed. It also made me realise how similar house and job hunting really are. I am listing down the common traits that I discovered in this mammoth exercise that left me at times totally exhausted and oddly, at times energised to renew the search next day.

Be clear

Job hunting begins with listing down what you really want – the kind of job, the location and of course the monies. What is important for you? How important is the match between your competencies and what the job offers? Are you a risk taker? Do new paths excite you or are you most comfortable and give your best when you are in a comfort zone? Once you have your answers, prioritise and begin the search.   

Put your passion upfront

Have you ever listed down what you are most passionate about? If not, perhaps now is the time to do so. On the other hand, remember, we don’t always know all the things we are passionate about. A chance encounter, a new learning, a different experience – these can open doors to fresh avenues that may later turn into a passion for you. I realised my passion for communications only when I started interacting with the PR department of the Steel Plant where I spent over a decade as an occupational health trainer and educator. It was the interactions therein that made me change my career trajectory. Harness your passion to take you to a whole new level.

 Start early and keep updating

Once you have decided to change jobs don’t wait for the right job to come your way. Start early. Remove that resume from the backburner. Dust it and start updating. List down your achievements. Use metrics wherever possible. Make this a monthly exercise. We often forget our own accomplishments. Regularly updating the resume ensures you are always ready to leap frog.

Search every channel

I still recall that when I began working way back in the late nineties, newspapers were the only source for job openings. Every week I would sit with the appointments column open searching for that right job. Today, you have the luxury of rifling through a myriad of channels and mediums. Use the amazing environment of social media, network, referrals, etc. – you never know what you find where.

Do not compromise

Live in the present and do not compromise on your principles. Do not accept short cuts to prosperity. There is absolutely no substitute for hard work. Do not invest yourself in a job that you never wanted in the first place. if you are not going to be happy, nothing is ever going to work. Remember, no one appreciates mediocrity. 

Wait for the best…

and the best will come. Have the patience. This is easier said than done. But, it is not impossible either. If you stay focused and believe in yourself and your skills, trust me, the best will come. Wait for it. Anticipate the experience of being in your dream job. Think of it. Savor the thought and hold on to it.

Negotiate

Most of us shy away from negotiation. We get intimidated by it. Don’t. Learn the fine art of negotiation. Embrace the fact that negotiations can take place in any setting! When you don’t negotiate, you lose out on new career opportunities, promotions, latest training and overall, prospects for growth. Also, negotiations are often equated with pay. Negotiate the whole package. Do not just focus on the pay. 

In the end, you know you have landed a good deal and a great job when you have established your aspiration price and have an agreement that provides solutions for multiple issues. 

Good luck with your search!

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

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