January 1, 2014

Critical Career Advice for Auto Manufacturing Professionals

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blank list of resolutions on blackboardReady or not—it’s here–the time of year to determine what we would like to achieve in the new year. Regardless of where you happen to fall on the satisfaction meter for the current stage of your career, you should follow this simple yet proven plan to ensure your career is on solid footing for long term success—or in some cases where circumstance require drastic changes sooner than later.

The New Year’s outlook for Auto Manufacturers and Suppliers is very bright. We continually see that plants are operating at full capacity–additional shifts being added at record levels. (Hint for Management Teams: If you aren’t running at capacity, you have a problem because your competition IS.) The big question is where do you fit in? The best opportunities won’t just show up at your doorstep. You must develop a plan and implement it now.

1. Evaluate Your Current Position – you may be very happy in your current role. If so, great—just be sure you have a plan. We’ve seen over and over again where the most comfy among us soon find themselves unemployed—could’ve been a corporate restructuring, plant closing, personality conflicts with the new boss, or something changed and you decided you want OUT. For many reasons, folks at EVERY level find themselves in the unenviable position of a job search—usually when they least expect it. (Trust us on this one.) We’ve also seen—especially in North America—that your next big opportunity or promotion is with another company. While this isn’t as prevalent in Europe and Asia typically, this occurs at least 50 percent of the time in the North American Auto Industry. If you sense a change is on horizon within the next 12 months—don’t procrastinate!. Begin with Step 2 ASAP.

2. Define Your Goals - Begin with the end in mind. Actually, this is a great strategy for just about any action plan. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re almost certain never to make it. Of course, everyone wants to be paid more. But what else? Does your current role afford you the comfortable lifestyle (short commute, more time at home with the family, etc) that you desire? Does your current company have the type of leadership needed to take it to the next level? Do you have the resources and training around you to maximize your potential? These are just a few examples to get you started. If you are an automotive pro in the job market, you owe it to yourself to set goals for you and your family.

3. Map out a Game Plan – if you’re an Engineer, Quality Manager, Process Improvement Director, this should be an easy one for you. But the fact is most qualified individuals capable of developing an action plan seldom do so for their career path. This starts with determining the best course to accomplish the goals you laid out in Step 2. Here are a couple of pointers..

a. Update your Resume and post it online – not only on Autojoblink.com, but begin with your online network. The folks that know you best are usually the most likely to help you through a referral. Niche sites like AJL and social sites like Linkedin will help you get the exposure you need. If you are a well qualified top performer, we guarantee you a hiring professional is looking for you in this market.

b. Find a TOP recruiter—not just any recruiter. Do your homework here. The best usually have a strong demonstrated track record that is easily recognized in their online profiles—not just by their title or accomplishments alone—but also by their connections of top industry professionals and associations. **You have forgotten more about your trade that most recruiters will ever know. However, most recruiters know more about the hiring process in their pinky finger than you will ever know. Plus, they are connected. They know who is hiring—which companies are most attractive (and which ones aren’t) and can point you in the right direction.

c. Scour the Web – particularly social media. You will find countless opportunities but more importantly get a better feel for what is going on in your industry and in the job market.

d. Keep your resume updated—even after you accept a new job. (Refer to step 1 about always having a plan in place.)

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Top Automotive Recruitment Team

_______________________  featured partner

4. Implement the Plan – Thinking about it won’t get it done, frankly. You’ve put a good plan on paper—now make it happen.

5. Evaluate your Plan—as with most plans, it will need some tweaking. Ask for feedback from your trusted industry pros—but especially your recruiter. If it’s not working, don’t keep doing the same things. Maybe your resume needs additional key words for example. If your resume doesn’t have the content the Employer is seeking, then there’s a good chance they will never find you. This is a good example.

As with most New’s Year Resolutions, the best career advice is to Stick To It!  A day, or a month or two just won’t do it. With the hectic pace of the Auto Industry, time gets away from us all. So after the confetti settles, consistency is the key. Use this guide to take the necessary steps to position your career for long term success.

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About the Author(s)

As with most valuable content online (that’s worth reading,) the best is usually a joint effort.  This article is no exception.  The Auto Job Link staff–beginning with the Founders–are always hard at work to provide content rich resources for it’s valued readers.   With over 30 years of combined experience with Automotive OEM and Tier Supplier Manufacturing, Recruitment, HR, Advertising, and Executive Management,the AJL team thrives on providing a network and resources for great people to connect with excellent Automotive Talent.  You can follow the AJL team on Twitter here, add them to your Google+ circles here, Like Us on Facebook here, or Follow Us on Linkedin here.

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