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Feeling stuck in your job?  Here’s how to step into a new role you love.

Can you remember that super annoying question you were constantly asked when you were at school from literally every adult you spoke to? It came from all sides: well-meaning teachers, guidance counsellors, your mate’s Mum, your Aunty, the neighbour, the neighbours cat!

Yes, it was this one; “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Argh.  This has to be one of the most frustrating and out of touch questions, ever! Way to put pressure on a young person to lock in their whole future adult life before they have even stepped out into the “real world,” right?

Let’s get this straight – it’s old school thinking to choose a career and stick with it for life.  Thankfully, the times have changed and the stats prove it; we now hold down between 12-15 jobs in our lifetime and for Gen Z this will increase even further! The experts (such as Fast Future futurist Rohit Talwar) reckon our children can expect to hold down 40 different jobs in ten completely different career paths in their lives! Say what!

So if you are thinking about looking for a new job, being open to thinking outside of the square could be your ticket to an exciting and stimulating career.  It’s mind boggling to realise that there are literally thousands of new jobs that didn't even exist 10 years ago. There could be a job out there with your name on it that you’ve never even considered before.

Is this getting you feeling nervously excited about the idea of an exciting new job?  We think that’s probably the cue for you to start looking around. There’s a couple of things to consider that can help make your job hunt more focussed so you can land that new role, promotion or career change.

  1. Straight talk:  What do you want?

    Get clear about what you want and what is most important to you – job title, salary, a promotion, the work itself, location or company culture? The better you know yourself and what you want out of a job, the more likely you’ll find a new job you love.

    Keeping the basics at the top of your mind is important.  Whatever the job is, feeling valued, respected and trusted in your day-to-day work life and getting along with your boss and co-workers is pretty essential stuff for being happy at work.
  2. Where would you rather be?

    Instead of focussing on job openings advertised, figure out where you want to work and work on trying to get to know someone employed there (thank you LinkedIn!).  Make a list of the top 3-5 businesses you’d love to work for; small or large it could be a workplace that inspires you through what they do, has a lot of opportunities for growth, or you’ve heard they have a really good culture and get hustling to make connections.  Face the fear and put yourself out there – get in touch to find out about the opportunities available! You never know when a job might come up that’s perfect for you.
  3. Own your strengths.

    We all have strengths and now is the time to know yours and own them like a boss. When you’re on the job hunt, working out what your strengths and weaknesses are is a great place to start so you can start to sort out which roles require your natural skills. Who knows, you might discover a job that matches your skills, experience or areas your passionate about perfectly, but it could be made for you.
  4. What’s your personal online brand? Get social savvy.

    Hands up if you’ve googled yourself before (and your Tinder dates, old flames, high school friends) – no judgments here, we’ve all done it! But did you realise that 93% of employers will search for your social media profiles during the interview process?

    Do you want a possible employer to see what you were up to last weekend at that stag-do, for example? Yeah, we thought not!  We recommend updating your security settings for any social media accounts you’d like to keep personal, so only close friends and family can see your personal posts and photos and the rest looks professional.

    And if you haven’t already, go ahead and google yourself. Take a look at what others will see and how your personal brand shows up online and make sure it’s looking clean. Not sure what we mean by a personal brand? Check out 5 Ways to Establish A Personal Brand On The Internet.

    Here’s what employers say they don’t want to see in candidates’ social profiles:
  • 83% are turned off by references to using illegal drugs
  • 71% are turned off by posts of a sexual nature
  • 65% are turned off by the use of profanity (remember your personal brand – would you speak that way if your grandma was in the room?)
  • 61% are turned off by bad spelling or grammar
  • 47% are turned off by photos of consuming alcohol

Here’s where to go to find that dream job.

These days online is your go-to place to look for jobs. If you have a list of work places you’re interested in, you can check out their direct website for vacancies and subscribe to notifications when new jobs are posted.

Job search sites:

Seek and TradeMe Jobs are the most popular job search sites in NZ, but there may be more relevant sites for your industry. You can find an extensive list here: NZ industry-specific job vacancy websites.

 Recruitment agencies:

Be proactive! Get in touch with recruitment agencies to register your profile and send your CV. Once you’re registered, they’ll get in touch about jobs they think will work for you and your skills. It’s also a great way to access jobs that aren’t advertised. Not sure which agencies to talk to? Here's a few ideas.


A LinkedIn profile is a must have, but it does depend on your industry. If you work in the medical industry (nursing, home care, doctors), social workers and community care, teachers/educators, and some trades, this is the place to network and make connections with people working in the companies you would like to be in. Jobs are often advertised on LinkedIn as well, and if you have connections within that company you already have your foot in the door.

Do’s and don’ts

If you have a job and are looking around, broadcasting that fact probably isn't the smartest move, things could get awkward! Here’s how to keep a low profile:

  • Turn off notifications. Unless you’ve been speaking to your boss openly about your next move, you don’t want them to discover your job hunting via a notification on LinkedIn or Facebook!
  • “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. The best new opportunities come from networking so get talking to your friends, family, family friends, gym buddies, your local coffee maker (but ask them to keep it on the down low so news doesn’t spread to far).
  • Set up interviews outside work hours (where possible). There’s only so many “doctor’s appointments” you can have before people get suspicious, right? Most employers understand this so ask if they’re able to meet outside of your work hours if possible.
  • Be a ninja! Release your inner stealth, including what you wear to work the day you’re having an interview. If you usually wear a uniform to work, plan ahead and take a change of clothes to wear to the interview-dress to impress.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself. Just because you’re ready to leave your current job, it doesn’t mean you can check out from your day-to-day tasks.  You’re still getting paid for the work, right? Stay focused and save your search for outside of work time.  Don’t use the company network, phone or computer to look for a new job. Assume they are big brother and always watching.
  • Select your references carefully. If your boss doesn’t know you are looking elsewhere, you can ask a colleague to be a reference instead. Always speak to your referees first, before providing their details and let them know about the job, so they can give you a glowing reference!
  • Get efficient! Looking for a new job is a job in itself! Get organised organized; update your online profiles, CV and create a great cover letter layout so you’re not starting from scratch when the search begins. Whether you use tools like Canva, Schedulebuilder or My Study Life, keep an up-to-date calendar to avoid double booking yourself.
  • Wait until you sign on the dotted line. You may have had a promising interviews, and been offered a job verbally, but it's not yours until you have received and accepted an offer and signed the paperwork. So keep Mum until it’s signed and sealed!

But is the grass really greener over there?

Sometimes a job search makes you realise that the grass only looks greener on the other side. And maybe the search makes you realise a new appreciation for your short commute, or great working relationship with your boss. Let’s be honest, no job is perfect–and if this process helps you rediscover your passion for the parts you love, thats great! 

If you discover how much you enjoy your current job, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with calling off the search and staying where you are!  Interviewing is great practise and terrific for confidence building-it’s also eye-opening to discover the different roles out there. Whatever you decide to do, there are plenty of options if you can widen your scope.

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