A new year, a new you? It's time to invest in yourself

Are you considering taking a leap into a new job in 2018? Then now is the time to "invest in yourself", writes Vanessa Taylor, realestate.co.nz's Head of Marketing. 

The reality is we invest time to help others in the workplace and that’s great, but we typically don’t do the same for ourselves.

If it’s a job change that’s on your mind, think about spending time in working through a process, focussing on your own needs, making sure that the jump is a good one. 

We’re busy recruiting here at realestate.co.nz and here is a few of the things that I look for in candidates to ensure we get the right fit. I have previously used this criteria when searching in the job market. 


The best boss for you 

Your boss can hinder or help your career, so you need to have a clear view of which kind of boss you like. Do you want someone hands on and engaged who can really help you learn, (and I don’t mean micro-manage because no one wants that), or someone who is never there and will leave you to it? How does the current boss interact with staff members and will that style be a match for you?

Personally, I like to be left to my own devices and I like to learn on the job. I prefer to learn through doing and front up to challenges that may arise, but not everyone likes this style of working. Also find out what type of development your future boss could help you with. What skills do you want to work on and can this boss offer you this kind of learning?


Best workplace style for you

What kind of working environment works best for you? Do you need flexibility or is 9-5 just fine? Happy to commute or not ever? Open plan person or your own office? Dress “code” is interesting. I like to be smartly dressed, so when I went for an interview at a SaaS company and everyone was in jeans and converse shoes, I knew it wouldn’t work out.

And what about the growing trend for pets coming to the office with their owners – OK with that? In any role you need to feel as though you fit in, so make sure the new environment fits with your style of working. 


Established company or moving on up?

Companies go through lifecycles in the same way that we do. When you’re looking at companies or departments, you need to know which stage of the lifecycle they’re currently at and where they’re going next. Think about this when researching the companies you might like to work for.

For me personally, realestate.co.nz was ripe for rebranding and the prospect was very exciting. It has meant that it’s my personal project and I can influence how it’s developed. Think about the nuts and bolts. Do you want a role that’s established with all the systems and processes in place, or would you prefer to have some influence in crafting those key parts of the business? What does the company deem to be ‘important’? Has the company had an HR team before? Do they have seven finance people but only three sales people?

The answers to these questions will give you a good indication of what the company deems to be valuable. Take a good look at the composition of the company and whether your gut instinct says it looks right for you. 


Size of the tank?

Another big question - big fish in a little pool, or little fish in a big pool?  What’s going to work best for you?

•    Small – likely to have a more family feel, but be realistic -  your job is probably to do EVERYTHING.  You’ll get great exposure to all areas of the business, but not a lot of support. You’ll see first-hand how a business is run from strategy to answering the phone. On the flip side, does it matter that no one knows the company you work for? 

•    Medium – quite often these companies are growing businesses which can come with some growing pains. Then again, you have the opportunity to grow with the business, learn a lot but not necessarily have to answer every phone call. Still has the ‘small business’ feel, and you generally get some exposure to most areas of the business. Do you want to climb the ladder and more importantly, can you? There may only be one person between you and the CEO, which doesn’t necessarily give you the next rung on the ladder. 

•    Large – you’ll generally get loads of support, there will be lots of staff and quite a few employee benefits. A great place to climb the ladder, and everyone will know where you work. However, you’re likely to get little exposure to strategy and often you won’t get to see things from inception through to completion. You may also have to play a bit of the political game rather than just get on with the job in hand. 

Vanessa Taylor is realestate.co.nz’s Head of Marketing. Vanessa believes there is no such thing as 'because that's the way we do it'. "Let's break the process, keep it simple, automate if possible and do it all for our customers". Connect with Vanessa on LinkedIn here.
This article first appeared in M2woman magazine.

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