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‘Self-disrupt’ your career to land your dream job in 2020

Is a new job on your radar for 2020? If so, you might think you’ve mastered the art of the job search – but think again. In 2020, it’ll take more than tailoring your CV and preparing thoroughly for interviews to get your dream job. This year, there are several new recommendations to add to the list.

From taking a calculated risk to highlighting transferrable skills for a sideways move, 2020 is the year to ‘self-disrupt’ your career.

Here’s how:

  1. Take calculated risks: Disruption is impacting all industries and the traditional notion that a career involves working your way up the ranks of one chosen profession is changing along with it. So, before beginning your job search decide which jobs you should apply for that will best serve you long-term. The next step up may offer an immediate salary increase, but a sideways move could allow you to learn new skills and take your career down a slightly different but more sustainable or rewarding career path. Such self-disruption will keep your skills relevant and employable for the long haul.
  2. Brevity matters: Next, update your CV. Hiring managers and recruiters still want to see a one- to two-page CV, yet this is far from the norm. In fact, you’d be amazed at how many CVs we see that are four or more pages long. You don’t need to list every job you’ve had since high school. Rather than simply adding each new job to the top of a CV you first created fifteen years ago, take the time to refresh it completely. An added advantage is that by crafting your CV in today’s acceptable format – and adding those all-important keywords – you’re more likely to get past initial screening algorithms or applicant tracking systems. To help, we’ve created a free downloadable CV template.
  3. ‘Skills’ are not ‘competencies’: The relevancy of your skills and competencies to the job you’ve applied for is your top method of standing out. But many people fail to sell themselves to the best of their ability because they don’t understand the difference between the two. Take the time to research the differences so you can win an interviewer over by showing which specific skills and competencies will make you successful in the job.
  4. Pair online and offline content: It may seem obvious, but there are still plenty of examples of people who submit a CV that does not align with their professional social media. It’s job seeking 101 – your social media profile should round out and enhance your CV, not send up red flags. Add relevant examples of your work, backed with quantifiable evidence, and ask as many relevant colleagues or associates as possible for recommendations that highlight the key skills and competencies required in the jobs you’re applying for.
  5. Tell a story: When preparing for job interviews, think of real-life examples you can share that demonstrate how you have successfully used the skill or competency in question to add value. Employers are less likely to take a chance on an unproven candidate these days, so use your previous successes to paint a picture in the interviewer’s mind of you doing the job well.
  6. Show off your soft skills: From a willingness to learn to adaptability and interpersonal skills, demonstrated soft skills supplement your technical skills and give you an advantage in the jobs market. Given this, it’s advisable to conduct a soft skills self-audit and upskill to overcome any gaps. Even if your soft skills are strong, continue to take every opportunity in your existing job to improve yours. Don’t forget to add your soft skills to your CV and professional social media profiles too.
  7. Highlight transferrable skills: If you are looking to make a sideways move, promote your transferrable skills. Employers are open to considering candidates who are interested in a sideways move, particularly in skill-short areas. This can be a sensible step for candidates who want to break out of their current mould to diversify their experience, so make sure you highlight your transferrable skills on your CV to show what makes you a suitable candidate for the role.
  8. Don’t raise salary too early: With wage growth remaining stubbornly subdued, employee turnover is rising since a higher salary increase can be achieved by changing jobs. Employers are therefore wary of any candidate who asks about money too early in the process. Your recruiter will give you an indication of the salary available, so also raising the topic with the hiring manager gives the impression that it’s your main motivation. Instead, wait for an offer to be made. This occurs once you’ve been selected as the preferred candidate, which puts you in a stronger negotiating position than if you’d raised the topic earlier.
  9. Look beyond salary to long-term gain: When it does come time to negotiate, don’t price yourself out of consideration. Consult a Salary Guide to ensure your expectations are aligned with current market rates rather than the figure you want. You should also carefully consider the career progression and learning and development available in the context of your long-term career goals and future employability. If a job comes with regular upskilling, it will help future-proof your employability and may be of greater financial benefit long-term than a few thousand dollars more here and now.
  10. Plan for automation: While just 14 per cent of existing jobs could disappear over the next 15 to 20 years in response to automation, a further 32 per cent are likely to change radically, according to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report. This year, consider what your job would look like if 30% of your tasks were automated. Identify the higher-value, non-routine tasks you could fill your time with and upskill so you are ready and keep your skills employable for the future.

About this author

Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand and Hays IT Australia & New Zealand, began working at Hays in 2001 and during this time has held significant leadership roles across the business including responsibility for multiple specialisms in various locations across Australia & New Zealand.

In 2018, he was appointed to Hays ANZ Management Board and made Managing Director for Hays New Zealand.

Adam is also responsible for the strategic direction of the Hays Information Technology business across Australia & New Zealand including driving growth across Digital Technology, Projects & Business Change and IT Operations & Support.

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