Getting Back on the Saddle
To help you or someone you know with a similar dilemma, I will be sharing with you my experience and how you can get back out there too.
I began my career path like any other Fijian. The norm in beginning your education from primary school then onto high school and after which you enroll into a university or college for your functional learning. You then acquire an internship to complete the course for a qualification. As it goes, your qualification level and employment opportunities co-depend. I was fortunate to have trailed this progression plan without interruption and graduated in good time.
From the get-go I knew exactly which field I wanted to be in – the field of Marketing, and quickly gained my experience at my first few jobs in the telecommunications, tourism and finally in the aviation industry. I was fortunate to have been groomed by the best in the field and a few years before turning 30 I was promoted to Global Manager Brand and Content Marketing looking after 32 markets in the Aviation Industry.
In 2020, Covid-19 hit the travel industry quite badly and I was among the hundreds who lost their jobs in Fiji’s aviation industry. From a seamless and promising career path, I was suddenly at a cross-roads with options waning. Although the alternatives were not favorable, I had to reset my approach and really think outside the norm before moving forward.
Step 1: Work on Your Brand Presentation (You are your Brand)
Bring out your resume and have a good look at what you have. Identify your Marketing or Sell points and see if the way it is currently presented gives you the credit you deserve. Highlight these points with projects or positive changes you may have effected as a result. These can be recorded under Special Projects, or however you feel will give it a fair platform.
For other skills, do some research if the terminology used is current, and make the right changes. For example, Graphic Designers is now in most cases Creative Designers. These are relevant to Graphic Designers who in their experience conceptualized visual designs.
LinkedIn has some leading features that you can explore, including updating your information and getting a resume created. My favorite is the Featured section of your information where you can include some of the work you have done, an update every visual aligned profession can appreciate. Do take out the time to check out the tools available to you on LinkedIn.
Step 2: Analyze Your Brand Facts
Look at this step as a SWOT analysis to filter what is note-worthy, and zero down to the most productive facts about your Brand. While all your Resume points are factual, you want the best to offer as your most marketable experience or skill set.
For a Marketing Assistant, instead of generalizing assisting with Marketing Campaigns, labeling the campaigns will help Employers gauge your potential against their action plan. This highlights your strengths, and the opportunities you have available to you as a candidate. (Is there a better example you have?)
Step 3: Finding the Market for your Brand
Now that you have an idea on what makes your brand and profile marketable, it’s time to find the right forum and space to market.
In my experience, I have found LinkedIn to be the most productive for my profession. I had a look at the Job Search market on LinkedIn, What’s New among the professionals I follow, and gauged what trends there may be (if any). In this quick analysis I found Consultancy to have a few leads.
Other Job Search opportunities on LinkedIn you can employ are as follows:
- Finding and joining Job Search Forums within your region or country. These forums usually have Q&A’s to help participants align with topics of interest. Be sure to look up fields relevant to your job as well.
- Looking up and connecting with Professionals in your field – while they may not have direct involvement in recruitment, these professionals can help get you in front of the right people and information.
- In addition to access to professionals, a few employers are also on LinkedIn with employment opportunities alongside their company undertakings.
In response to Covid-19 effected job losses, some of the best in the market have rolled out with job link initiatives that connect employers to a job market. What these forums do is link your experience and information to the searching employer.
Available on their Website, LinkedIn and on Facebook the SPTO Jobs Link and Info Hub allows you to register your information in categories and search for opportunities by tags such as – Job Titles, Company, Term Type and Location.
On their Social Media platforms SPTO is effectively promoting their Jobs Link, and inspiring Job opportunities available out there for us Pacific Islanders. Give them a follow and check the website to take advantage of this well-thought and invaluable Jobs Link. It was made just for you and I.
Step 4: Show Off!
So now we know the information you need out there, where you need to be and in front of which specific audience. Now let’s go through the steps so you can get working:
- Update your resume and work on your LinkedIn update
- Connect with professionals, and Get into Job Search forums on LinkedIn
- Register to Jobs Link platforms like my favorite and the absolute gem SPTO Jobs Link
- Apply and Get yourself out There!
While you are applying, keep a look out for opportunities that are not the market standard. Covid-19 has come with its fair share of market updates, and I am excited to keep learning more. We all know success is not an overnight achievement, it comes with its load of patience (lots of it), dedication and sacrifices. We can only keep moving forward whilst keeping the faith.
I will end this piece with one of my favorite quotes (forgive the cliché), that sums up the journey I have had so far.
If you prepare for opportunity, it will NOT pass you by. Because when it does come (and it will), you will be ready.
Sera A. Vulaono
Mauve Marketing Solutions Fiji