Even if you're a highly qualified, experienced engineering or manufacturing professional - some job searches can still be lengthy, particularly in today's economy. It's easy to become demoralised during a long job hunt and there will no doubt be occasions where your motivation and enthusiasm levels hit a low.
Hopefully, you'll find the right role quickly, but if job success is less immediate, here are a few simple tips for maintaining motivation and momentum in your engineering and manufacturing job search.
Have a clear vision
- Be specific in your goals and what you want to achieve. Writing an imaginary job description for your ideal position could help you to focus on what you really want from a new role.
- Always keep your ultimate career goal at the front of your mind and try to regularly envisage achieving it.
- 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 desired result and establish what you can do immediately to achieve that first step.
Up-skilling and filling a gap
- Identify any gaps in your knowledge or any key experience that you're lacking. Where possible, try to address this with additional training or by seeking out new projects in your current organisation that could help expand your expertise.
- If you're in the early stages of your career, you might consider the benefits of finding a mentor.
- Having a more experienced contact in the industry who can advise you could be hugely inspiring and helpful.
- Equally, if you're keen to learn more about a specific area of your industry - make sure you get in touch with your contacts. Hopefully, you may be able to find someone who can share their knowledge and experience with you. This could be anything from a career 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, especially if it has been going on for a while. Try not to continually use the same channels to hunt for new positions as this can limit your scope. Broaden your search by trying a different mix of websites, trade publications, job boards etc.
- Particularly if you're currently out of work, try writing a list at the start of each week with three new approaches you could take to your job hunt. Aim to have addressed each item on the list by the end of each week.
- Don't neglect social media. Although engineering and manufacturing employers typically take a more traditional approach to recruitment, social media is still a prominent channel for advertising job openings. Make sure you follow relevant people and organisations on twitter and ensure your LinkedIn profile is fully completed and up-to-date.
In a long job hunt, your energy, motivation and general morale may start to wane. Here are a few simple exercises that may help you to restore a positive outlook:
- Write a list of your top ten professional qualities/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. Particularly if you're out of work, try to keep busy and motivated with projects you enjoy. This may be a voluntary project or a relevant night course.
- Ask past colleagues/employers to write you a short recommendation on LinkedIn. Not only will this give you a more impressive online profile, the positive comments should also boost your confidence. Let these positive remarks remind you of your strengths and what others particularly value in you both personally and professionally.
Why not browse all of the engineering and manufacturing jobs we're currently handling to see if any of them could make a difference to your career?