This just may be the year of the candidate, not only the year of the horse. Having said that I should elaborate.  If you are willing to look for a new role there are several hurdles you will have to jump before the new well-paying role is offered to you.

When there is that desire for a new position, each time you take that step, look for what is most important to you, is it doing the same old same old but getting more money? Or is it moving to the next level and challenging yourself and skill set? Is it downsizing on responsibility? Whatever your reason this could be your year as there are many roles in the market place awaiting your resume.

Many clients are keen for staff with skills, relevant experience and certain attitudes, and they use a variety of means to ‘test’ the market, and these are the hurdles I was alluding to.

You may have to apply through a recruitment agency. Hopefully this agency is reputable and honest. By this I mean that confidentiality is maintained, not sending your resume to anyone out there with a job vacancy that your skills and experience seem to suit. You will need to discuss what your goals and aims are in seeking a new role. The problem with your resume being sent everywhere means people become aware that you are on the move and because everyone knows everyone in particular industries then word can get back to your employer and this is not good for career prospects. So if you are on the hunt for a new role, just be cautious here.

You then may have to attend interview either via phone and then formally in front of a panel of two to maybe six managers who have limited professional training on recruitment process, let alone interview questioning and structure. But remember, you are there to answer their questions in the best way you possibly can. If they are modern and consider themselves forward thinking they may then suggest and pay for you to do a cognitive test, where you will be asked serious questions like:

Choose which word is not related

  • Prada
  • Versace
  • Payless
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Manolo Blahnik

Or

If you are 2 years older than Michael, how old is Jo?

And if you get through this and show that you can perform under duress of timed online assessments that tell whether you perform ‘under stress’, you may be asked to attend another meeting with the CEO or another senior manager just in case he / she thinks you may not fit in.

Choose your referees carefully as well. It is excellent advice to actually ask your referees what it is they are going to say about you, so that you know they aren’t just going to tell stories about how tough it was to deliver on time and to budget on a particular project you were sponsor for! This ensures they are offering opinion, objective assessments about what is relevant to the job you are applying for.

I make light of the process, but it is a process that many of us have gone through at different stages in our careers.

We are finding that the market on the whole is candidate poor, this means that not many people are choosing to move from their current positions and actively pursuing their dreams.  But perhaps 2014 will be the year of the candidate?

It is important that if you are interested in finding a new role, talking to an industry specific agency is usually a good start. They may not have a job for you currently, but what good consultants do have is working relationships with organisation who like to hear about ‘good candidates’, and they can float your CV across with your permission of course. Perhaps the organisation will create a worthwhile role for you. Roles do pop up and become available and if you have not indicated that you may be interested in moving upwards or onwards you may miss out on the perfect career opportunity in 2014.