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Many of us think of changing job, or even career, at this time of year.  The key to making a successful change is to make sure you have really thought things through properly.

Well, you managed to survive blue Monday (or blue week depending on what articles you read) and you have decided that yes, now is indeed the time to start looking for a new role.  So what’s the next step – well the obvious thing is to sit down and write a good CV.  Whilst this is important, and I will talk about CVs in a later article, in my view the most important thing you can do right now is to really think deeply about your current situation. Think about your hopes and ambitions and try to visualise what your next career step might look like. Have you ever taken a moment to really analyse who you are and what it is that motivates you?

What do you want out of your career and life?

Over the years I have met thousands of people ready to change job or so they think. Whenever possible, I prefer to have a one to one meeting with candidates to assess what the best direction is for them. After the opening social chit chat and getting comfortable with each other, I explain that I have asked to meet them to really understand their situation and to make sure that we match them up with the right opportunity.  Before going through the practical issues, I will always ask them directly – “In an ideal world what are you looking for out of this next career move?” In other words “what is it that you really want?”  9 out of 10 people are surprised by this question.  More often than not we have focused on what we don’t want in this job rather than what we do want out of the next one. This question opens the candidate up to really thinking about their situation – and sometimes deciding that staying with the current employer may actually be the best thing for them.

As Actuaries you have had to work hard and study harder to get to where you are. It has all been very busy and then you find yourself finally a qualified Actuary. The path has been so set from your school days that you haven’t had much time to really analyse yourself or to think about what motivates you as an individual.  There’s an old adage that one is “hired for technical skills, and fired for behaviour” which applies both to employees and employers.  When contemplating a change in role, it’s essential to consider what you need from all angles. Often it is the non-technical elements that will become the most important.

The truth is we are all different and there are many facilities available that can help you to articulate what motivates you.  For example, something as simple as knowing which of the personality types you are, of the 16 possible according to Myers Briggs, can give you deeper self-discovery and even an edge over other applicants. Two other behavioral theories you could look at include DISC (Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness) or the big five otherwise known as OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism).

There are an endless number of personality tests available online – and some are free.  Some just focus on specific areas of your personality – as an example,  simply knowing if you are an introvert or an extrovert (or like me an ambivert) can help you to identify the type of environment that would suit you best.  You could also engage a career coach – something we often help candidates with at Raretec. Being able to understand your own personality and behavioral traits will help you to recognise what you want and need from your next career move. It’s this thought and preparation that will make your next career move a successful one.

At Raretec Recruitment we can help you analyse your current situation and are always happy to meet actuaries and data analytics professionals to discuss the issues that will help you realise your full potential.  Contact us on 015311400 or at https://raretec.ie/contact-raretec/.