Are you planning to pursue a different job on Wall Street next year? Even if you plan to stick around at your current firm until you get your 2017 bonus next year, it’s best to get an early jump on preparing forca job search, which starts long before you send that first resume out.
Step up your performance
Late summer through to to the end of the year is a great way of ensuring you’re hitting your goals and getting noticed.
“A strong performance could mean a bigger bonus, providing a financial cushion for your search, especially if you decide to leave to look,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart.
“A strong performance will also lead to better references, and prospective employers do pay attention to references,” she says.
Challenge yourself to take on a really hard project, so you can talk about something novel, difficult and exciting in your next interview, says Amy Adler, a career coach at Five Strengths Career Transition Experts.
Relationships are the key to accessing the “hidden job market” – unadvertised or early-access jobs – where the best jobs are these days. Build your network now.
Reconnect with people you’ve been out of touch with, using a simple “hello and update” email.
“Remind them of what you’re doing, what you’re looking to do down the road, and ask about them,” says Robert Hellmann, the founder of Hellmann Career Consulting.
Match your skills to potential employers’ needs or skills gaps
Find an organization whose values match yours and that has challenges to which you have a solution, suggests Kim Ann Curtin, the founder and CEO of The Wall Street Coach
Cultivate relationships at various Wall Street firms and pay attention to what you hear about each organization.
“Ask yourself, ‘What skills do I have and what companies are best suited to my strengths?” she says. “Find that out by talking and building relationships with people across the spectrum – go to networking events to find out what’s going on with them, whether the company’s not promoting them or they just got promoted.
Make time for networking
Early autumn through the end of the year is also great for networking.
“The fall is busy with professional associations hosting events again after a quiet summer,” Ceniza-Levine says. “The holidays are a natural time to network – office parties and sending out greetings to contacts you may not have spoken to in a while.
Shift your mindset
You have to think of yourself in terms of your contributions to a prospective employer, rather than thinking, “I need a job; I want a job; why can’t I get anywhere?”
“It’s not about you; it’s about the employer, which requires a mindset shift,” Curtin says. “You’ll be much more successful in getting them to see you as different from everybody else.
Keep yourself informed about what’s happening across the industry
Read up on influencers in your industry, so you are up-to-date on the latest trends in your specific job function, Adler says.
You have to be plugged into the ups and downs of the major firms on Wall Street, Curtin says.
“Target a handful of prospective companies you like, do your research and pay attention to what’s happening,” she says. “Are they hiring? Laying off people? Being plugged into the industry and the competitors of the companies you’re targeting is key.”
Improve your social media presence
To get noticed by recruiters, build a strong presence on social media. Hellmann says that this means three things:
- creating a powerful, keyword-rich profile;
- build a quality network of people you know in some way from any walk of life where you might be open to helping them and the reverse; and
- follow thought-leaders in the industry on Twitter and join relevant LinkedIn groups.
“Do these things to improve your likelihood of being found on LinkedIn for opportunities,” Hellmann says. “When the time comes, you’ll use this presence to find people to reach out to as well.”
Consider writing one or two long-form blog posts or articles to push out across social media that demonstrate expertise beyond what your resume or profile shows.
“I had a client who recently received an interview and an offer because of just such a post,” Hellmann says.
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