Work for the job you want, not the job you're in
by Oshan de Silva
Is there such a thing as the perfect job?
Yes, there is! It exists in everyone’s mind.
When I talk to candidates, I always ask, “If you could create the perfect role, what would be the top five job duties you'd have in that role?”
And the answers come spilling out.
So then I say (for example), “That’s really great, so you’d like to delve into coaching and mentoring, file reviews and QA.”
Then I ask them a series of questions:
- Which of these skills do you already have experience in?
- What steps have you already taken to make yourself ready to achieve each thing?
- What steps do you think you could take to make yourself ready?
That’s when the hesitation starts, because most people are focused on their current job - not the one they want in five years. And that’s okay.
But if you do feel like there is a major gap between your aspirations and your experience and knowledge, here’s a 5-Step Plan to help bridge the gap and achieve your career goals.
Step 1: Establish your goal
Understand clearly what it is you want to do – the role you are aiming for.
Look at the progression path that will get you from where you are now, into that role.
Identify your next step on the progression path.
Concentrate on getting specific experience that will put you on the next step.
(Specific is an important distinction. If you want to be a Technical Claims Consultant responsible for coaching and mentoring, file reviews and QA, It’s better to focus on growing your skills in those areas)
Step 2: Examine the duties of your target role
Analyse the responsibilities and functions of someone occupying the position you are ultimately aiming for. You may have access to formal job descriptions for the various roles in your company, and be able to check the list of duties and the skills required for the one you aspire to be in. And also discussing with someone who is in the role you are striving for and understanding what the role entails. Otherwise, chat to the team at Ensure. You’ll be able to drill down to the detail of what is expected of the successful candidate.
Step 3: Identify your skills gaps
Now that you know the specific competences you’ll need to demonstrate, you’ll be able to pinpoint your own shortcomings. You’re not going to land your dream role without the required skills, experience, and in some cases, formal qualifications. Make a list of the gaps that need to be filled.
Step 4: Upskill to fit your target role
Stay up to date with new developments in the insurance industry. Make a name for yourself as someone who is forward-looking
Invest in training and development put your hand up for internal company training, enrol in online courses, and go to industry events or training (and add these qualifications to your resume and LinkedIn profile).
Put your hand up for new projects or additional duties. Get involved.
Attend relevant events, and consider studying for a qualification online.
Find a mentor within your organisation or elsewhere in the industry who can help teach you particular skills. You can also benefit from becoming a mentor yourself.
Identify what not to focus on (see Step 1).
Step 5: Make yourself the obvious choice
When an opportunity for advancement presents itself, whether it’s internal or external of your current company, you need to be the obvious and preferred person.
Start taking on more duties in line with the role you are targeting now, to ensure that your name is at the top of the list, instead of being overlooked.
Begin networking both within your organisation (with your team and other departments) as well as externally at events and online (LinkedIn is a great place to start, download my free guide to LinkedIn for insurance professional’s here.)
Connect with a recruitment agency. At Ensure Recruitment it’s our job to connect you with the right role and company for you. We work closely with you to map your career and recommend you for jobs at Australia and New Zealand’s best insurers.
Ensure’s recruitment process includes career guidance
When candidates apply for a role, we often find they apply without thinking about what they really want.
At Ensure, our consultants will sit down with you to understand what your requirements are, identify key drivers, and then search for the right role for you. We consult because we are totally familiar with our clients and know whether they will connect with you and your goals. This allows us to showcase different career paths and give career focus advice to enhance both your work life and personal life.