Before you start looking for a job it’s important to know how becoming employed or changing roles will affect your current routine and lifestyle. It’s also worth considering exactly what type of work you want, this will help you narrow down your search criteria and save you a lot of time when you start looking. Here are some things to think about before you start your search.
What type of work do you want to do? Do you want to work in a sector you have already worked in or do you want a change in direction? The answer to that question will determine your next steps. If you know what you’d like to do and have worked in that area before you will have an idea of what to expect from the job and what an employer is looking for. If you’re going for a change in direction, try contacting an employer in that sector to get more information about the role or to ask about work experience. Not only will that look good when you apply but it will also give you an idea about the role and whether it’s right for you. Career questionnaires such as the Prospect Career planner or the Career Test can point you in the right direction.
How many hours can you work? With so many jobs to sort through it’s a good idea to have a few criteria decided before you start. One of these criteria might be how many hours you want to work.
There are a number of different contracts and it’s important you know what will suit you and your life before you start searching. Here is an explanation of the most common types of contract:
a) Full time – Normally 37 hours per week but it can vary depending on the type of work you do. You are guaranteed the stated amount of hours per week and are required to work those hours.
b)Part time – This can vary but is often around 18-20 hours per week. Much like full time you are guaranteed these hours and are required to work them. Part time can work well if you have young children when you can work around their nursery or school schedule. It can also allow you to generate an income without having to pay excessive amounts for childcare.
c)Zero Hours contract – This type of contract is increasingly common and is particularly prevalent in shop work. Instead of giving you set hours, this contract requires you to be ready to work at any time and does not guarantee you any hours. Although this may seem attractive, this contract does not guarantee a steady income and does not pay you for waiting around to find out if you are required to work.
d)You also need to check whether you are specifically classed as an employee or self-employed – please check the citizens advice bureau website for more details if you are unsure.
Here are a few other questions you may need to consider;
- How will a job affect your life? Will it change your benefits or affect your home life?
- How far are you willing to commute? Most job sites will narrow down vacancies based on location.
- If you have children, how much will extra childcare cost you?