What about me? 5 ways to invest in your career

Friend of Ribit, Tom Hitchcock, CEO of Purple Patch Consulting, shares his considerable knowledge on helping students and employers hire successfully.

In this final blog of our three-piece series, we conjoin the findings of the previous two into a pragmatic guide to circumnavigating the job market.

In part one we discovered that salary is the primary driver of decision making, followed by other benefits. We also covered how to research a company to validate they are the right move for you.

This was followed by an investigation into company v team culture. The misalignment of the two and how to discover the type of culture you might spend your working days embedded within. We also categorised the segments into four distinct silos: clan culture, adhocracy culture, market culture, and hierarchy culture.

We followed up this article with a poll on LinkedIn titled: “When it comes to CULTURE, what is more important for the success of a candidate?”

The results were fairly evenly split but leaned towards team culture, aligning well with our research and previous findings.

Next up we want to add to your armoury to prevent any wrong turns. At Purple Patch Consulting we define careers as an investment. Not too dissimilar to stocks or property. In fact, we believe your career is a bigger investment than both of those combined. You put in your time and effort and want a strong return on your investment (ROI). You want year on year (YoY) growth and strategic gains. Therefore, it makes sense to administrate parallel due diligence and approaches towards your career as you would with the other types of investment.

5 Ways to invest in your career

1. Balance Sheet

This we recommend doing once a year as a form of review and self-analysis. Accountants would be familiar with this concept but not used in this way. In short it displays assets v liabilities. The assets are what you bring to the table and the liabilities what you hope to gain soon. Not only is this a powerful tool for yourself but is a novel and effective add on to any CV, job application or interview. Using your balance sheet, you can demonstrate self-awareness, initiative, what you have in your ‘assets’ tool kit for them and what they need to upskill you in to develop you and retain you long term.

For an example of this, feel free to contact us

2. Word

Recruiters regularly ask for your CV to be in Word and they have good reason to. It makes it much easier for them to format your CV for submission to their client and the ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) they use. Companies use these to search for candidates on their database by parsing for key words. With PDF files, these systems tend not to pick them up and thus applicants remain unfound. Avoid missing opportunities by sending your CV in Word.

3. Online Brand

Reference checks are not relied upon for validation of who the company is committing themselves too as much anymore. Whilst there are many verification tools out there, one of the most common is simply a Google name search. Checking the online presence of an individual provides insights into the ‘real’ person rather than just what they chose to present on paper and in an interview. I’ve seen this used a lot and witnessed possible jobs offers retracted based on the findings. Regularly Google your name and take responsibility for your digital footprint.

For more information on your digital footprint, check out the recent Ribit blog, ‘How great is your first impression?

4. Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

This links up nicely with the previous two articles (see links below). We work a lot with companies on their EVP who are looking to establish this as a tool to attract and retain the best talent. Companies that have invested time and money into EVP tend to be more people focused. So, in your conversations with any company you are considering working for, I recommend asking about their EVP. You will learn about the benefits they offer and how they value their workforce.

5. Career Contract

Finally at the point of negotiation on salary I would strongly recommend discussing the creation of a career contract. This is basically a ‘promotion’ contract for when you start. It will have milestones, measurables and timeframes. If you meet all of them, you will earn the promotion and/or pay rise. This informs you upfront of what you need to deliver to be successful and, if this is achievable, helps with your decision to take the job. As a graduate entering the market you will be on the lowest rung of the salary banding and this is where the career contract empowers you to move up the ladder quickly, putting the investment of your career firmly in your control.

For students, jump in to Ribit.net to kick start your career with a paid role relevant to your studies. For talent already in the workforce, or for more information on these articles, feel free to reach out to Tom Hitchcock, tom@purplepatchconsulting.com.

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