Whether by force or by choice, having a fresh start is part of life.
That doesn’t make it any easier to pick up the pieces and accept a new path.
Starting afresh can be intimidating, especially when it concerns your career. For many, a job helps define personal success and can have a lot to do with your quality of life.
Getting a great job can make your new journey worthwhile. Choosing the wrong one, however, will have you looking for another do-over before you know it.
If you want to make the most of your fresh start, put these seven tips into practice and land the job you deserve:
#1 – Be Prepared to Talk About Your Fresh Start
Every employer wants to know why you’re looking for a new job. In many cases, it’s not enough to say you felt it was time for a change.
Interviewers are trained to probe every question with more questions. Their goal is to get as clear a picture of you as possible so they can make the best hiring decision.
While honesty is important in every interview, you need to tread this line carefully and correctly.
It’s important to separate your personal and professional lives on the job hunt, especially as it pertains to your need for a career change.
For example, they don’t necessarily need to know if you were recently in a drug rehab center. You don’t have to divulge you were battling an addiction. These can affect your professional life, but they’re largely personal and should remain out of the conversation.
Instead, you could focus on your goal to find a more satisfying career or one that better utilizes your skills.
#2 – Leverage Your First Impression
The old saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression” holds true when job searching, but it’s not when you go in for an interview.
To earn the right to interview, your resume or application must stand out. This is your ultimate first impression.
Granted, your voice makes a first impression during a phone interview and your appearance makes a first impression during an in-person interview.
These areas should not be overlooked. Speaking with confidence on the phone can make a recruiter eager to meet you in person. A polished persona can give you a competitive edge in person.
Recruiters take note of all these things in determining your suitability for a job.
But if you don’t look good on paper first, you likely won’t have a chance to wow them with your professional appearance or speaking skills.
Have a proofreader review your resume for typos, grammar issues, formatting errors, or other anomalies. A missed period or comma might seem insignificant, but it could make you appear less than professional.
You might even consider having your resume professionally designed to help you stand out among other applicants. It’s worth paying a little extra if it means landing a job you’ll love.
#3 – Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Having a fresh start is all about being open to change.
If you truly want to start anew, you need to realize that doing things the same way will only land you in the same spot you’re in.
Stepping outside your comfort zone exposes you to new people, places, and ways of thinking. It’s the only way to make a fresh start possible.
#4 – Learn a New Skill
A fresh start means doing something different. Developing a new skill can help you discover new things about yourself and direct you to the next step in your life.
If you’re not sure what you want to learn, consider taking a job assessment test or personality test. These tests are designed to help you find what you might be good at based on your personality and existing skills.
Once you have an idea of where you’d like to go, invest some time in learning the proper skills that will help you make the leap.
#5 – Practice Your Interview Skills
Interviews aren’t just about answering questions.
Your goal during an interview is to make the recruiter recognize that you’re the best person for the job. To do this, you need confidence and an ability to market yourself.
These things don’t often come naturally, especially if you’re transitioning to a new field.
Practice your interview skills so that you’ll feel ready for interview day. Anticipate what kind of questions you’ll be asked, but don’t rehearse your answers. You want to sound natural when speaking to the recruiter.
Practice in front of a mirror and pay attention to your body language. You could say all the right things with your mouth, but your body must also reflect those answers.
#6 – Build Confidence
Making a fresh start can be nerve-wracking and your confidence might be at an all-time low.
Lack of confidence is the last thing an interviewer wants to see. If you can’t be confident in yourself, they won’t believe you’ll be confident enough to represent their company.
You can boost your confidence by reciting positivity statements or listening to upbeat music. Promise yourself a reward if you feel like you have a great interview. A little incentive can go a long way in helping you relax.
#7 – Don’t Settle
You might think you’ll be satisfied with any job offer, but that’s not usually true. If you find yourself in an unsatisfactory job, you might start itching for another fresh start before long.
Take your time to find jobs that are suitable for you and that you’ll enjoy.
Desperation can often lead to pressure to take the first job that comes along. Hold your ground and don’t settle for a job that will put you back in the same situation you’re trying to leave.
Making the Most of Your Leap of Faith
Remember, life is full of new beginnings. This isn’t your first fresh start, and it likely won’t be your last.
The most important thing you can do to make the most of your leap of faith is to remain in control. When you write your own story, you’ll be much more satisfied with how it ends.
For more great life lessons and advice, visit our learning resources.