Moving up or moving on - are you ready for market?

by MSM Coaching on 8th October 2012

These are challenging times for everyone in the workplace. Even if you have a job – and are successful at it – the vagaries of the economic climate mean you can still be touched by the long-arm of redundancy. And, if you’re a middle or senior manager looking to move on, any prospective job change needs to be planned and prepared for with considerable care if you’re to be successful. The competition from other qualified and experienced candidates is especially strong.

Of course you may well consider you already have what it takes to impress a potential new employer or a recruitment consultant. After all, you’ve achieved a good deal so your qualities will be self evident in going for that dream job, or replacing one you’ve just lost.

The reality, however, can be a painful letdown. Yes, you may have just the experience a new post requires and, on the face of it, match the job profile in every other respect, too. But somehow you don’t make it past the interview – in fact you’re not even offered one.

It appears you’re not yet ready for market.

The truth is few of us have sufficient self awareness or perspective to exploit new job opportunities or career moves to our best advantage.

For a start, it’s difficult to find the space to give your next move the thinking time it demands especially if you’re in work or are trying to deal with the fallout from redundancy.

The latter throws up extra challenges in itself such as coping with shock, a loss of confidence and inevitable resentment, any of which can frustrate you in moving forward. You may even develop a risk avoidance strategy to new openings and deny yourself opportunities your innovative personality is well suited to.

Plan of action

So what is the best plan of action? A good way is to talk, but not just to family and friends. While these will be unquestioningly supportive you’re unlikely to receive the objective and insightful guidance and advice that can be the difference between securing that new job or being rejected.

Independent, market-savvy advice is called for – to confirm what you want to do, help you understand yourself and your abilities better, and market your skills. Recognising how your experience may transfer into a new role for which you don’t obviously meet all the criteria is also important especially in satisfying the ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’ mantra of many employers.

You need a proactive approach to job hunting – and that is best managed with the help of a business coach.

A business coach will provide the independent sounding board for your aims and ambitions that you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll benefit from an ongoing relationship built on one-to-ones, and supported by telephone and email contact, that will reassess and challenge your approach, attitudes and assumptions and leave you in no doubt about who you are and what you have to offer. And when things don’t go quite so well, your coach will be on hand to help plan your next step.

A core element of the relationship will be the development of your personal brand, a positive statement of your values, abilities and actions which you can leave with those you meet, or work with.

By defining your unique value, your personal brand allows you to be more effective at projecting yourself and equips you with the personal and market awareness you need to be at your best when it really counts.

Coaching sessions are enjoyable as well as stimulating and, importantly, are dedicated solely to you. They are the ideal forum in which to develop the attributes which will mark you apart and help you to the job you deserve.

I would love to hear from you. Email me at