New Year, New job?
February tends to be one of our busiest months for retailers looking for a move. With many too busy to interview in December and often taking some time back with family and taking stock of their lot through January – It tends to be February by the time they contact us to discuss their new year’s resolution of finding a new job.
So, for those looking for a move here is a list of 5 things you should keep in mind when applying or interviewing for your next big move.
Understand your WHY!
When you are applying to new roles it’s really important to know your motivating factor, and more important to keep it at the forefront of your mind. If you are making a move for a better work-life balance, then make sure you are applying to roles that offer less contracted hours or advertise a nicer shift pattern. It’s easy to get distracted by €€€ signs and fancy titles, but if your reason for making a move is lost in the process chances are you won’t be any happier!
Honesty is the best policy!
Look, I know plenty of people exaggerate on their CV. But my honest advice is DON’T. The Irish Grocery industry is a tight-knit sector, where you are likely to have interactions with previous employers at some point in the future! Don’t be tempted to say you were running a €1 million a week store if it wasn’t or that you were the Store Manager in all but name if you weren’t. Firstly, you likely won’t be able to back this up when you delve further into your experience but more importantly, being honest about your experience will earn the respect of the person interviewing you. Ultimately most employers are looking for integrity in their new hires.
Similarly, be upfront and honest when explaining your reason for making a move – It’s nearly always apparent when a candidate says they “just need a change” that you are not getting the whole story. If you are not honest around this, you are doing yourself a disservice and indeed your new employer. If you are leaving because your last manager was a micro-manager and you don’t enjoy that environment – explain that – otherwise, you are likely to end up repeating the same mistakes. If you are looking for fewer hours or more money, explain that also – that way you are allowing a new employer to meet your needs, or pass. But no matter which – you will still be moving in the right direction for you.
Don’t be tempted to overstate your salary either – if you are moving for more money that is okay, and it’s okay to explain that to a potential new employer. But be honest, otherwise you might get yourself excluded from a salary increase because you have overstated your current package!
What are your wins?
You should have a list of 3-7 “wins” that you have achieved in each role you have held. If you can summarise these I would include them on your CV. Either way, I always recommend jotting them down before an interview, so they are fresh in your mind on the day!
These “wins” or achievements are the most accurate representation of you and your experience – and they will go a long way in an interview when you are asked for examples.
These wins may range from driving sales in a specific department or reducing waste, to a couple examples of amazing customer service or passing an audit or indeed developing the people around you.
Do your research
I cant overstate the importance of this one! You should assume the first or second question you will be asked in any interview is “What do you know about us” or “Why do you want to work for us” and prepare accordingly.
Aside from coming across well in the interview – you should also do your research about the company and job beforehand and ensure that the job you are interviewing aligns with your “WHY”. If you are looking for a better work-life balance – speak to some of their past or current managers and ask some questions about this! If it’s a shorter commute have a look at their store locations and see where you are happy to commute to.
If your “why” and their business are not aligned, then this is unlikely the role for you and it’s better to identify that than waste everyone’s time!
Be prepared for counter offers
I have seen time and again that most candidates who accept counter offers still go on to make a move within 6 months – frustrating everyone in the process.
My advice is this – before you go on to the market – speak up! Have an open honest chat with your employer – at least that way you will know if they would like you to stay and if they have any scope to meet your needs. You don’t have to hand your notice in – just explain your situation and ask if you could work together on a solution or plan. Think of what you would need from your current employer to stay. Are you actually happy in your current role but want to be paid more? Or want Wednesdays off? or perhaps want some progression opportunities? Or more autonomy? Have that conversation before going to market – not after!
Other than that good luck!
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