Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Did you know that what you do after an interview could impact on whether you get the job? If you've ever wondered whether you should follow up on an interview with an email or call, then you may be interested in making the most of the post-interview period.

If you want to reinforce the professional impression you gave at your interview or to elevate your chances of success by keeping your name fresh in the interviewer's mind, these are the steps you need to take for the best chance of success.

Ask for contact information

When you're job hunting in FM and you land that interview, don't leave without asking for contact information and next steps. Ask how long it typically takes for the company to make a decision, or whether there'll be a second interview.

Assess your performance

This is critical to help in future interviews. Write up how the interview went, including how you answered the questions, the things you wish you'd said, and important names, insights and questions. This will help you improve your performance in future and mean that you're well prepared for that second interview.

Send a note soon after the interview

Sending a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview should be top of your to-do list. It may be more appropriate to send a handwritten note. If not, send an email and take the opportunity to add a link to something relevant or current in facilities management. Make it relevant to the content of your interview so it adds value to your thanks.

Send supporting documents

If you've been asked to submit supporting documents, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Whether you need to submit consent forms, references or a written assessment, sending your documentation in a timely manner is another top priority.

Contact your references

It's good practice to let your professional references know that you've been for an interview and that they may be contacted. In fact, you should only submit references if you have that person's consent.

Connect on social media

If you use sites like LinkedIn, try connecting with your interviewer post-interview. If they accept your request it could be a signal that they're interested in hearing more from you. Even if this turns out not to be the right FM position for you and you end up working for a different company, it's a useful way to expand your personal network. That in turn means you'll be ideally placed to make the most of future FM opportunities.

Use your waiting time wisely

While you're waiting to hear back about the results of your interview, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of future success. Brush up on new skills to add to your CV or make connections with people you may know working for the hiring company who can give you some valuable insights. Stay calm, and follow up as per the hirer's instructions. For example, if they ask for an email follow up within the week, don't call two weeks later.

If you're job hunting in FM, we're the facilities management recruitment agency you can trust. At Catch 22 we have an enviable reputation in the FM sector so why not contact us for your next FM job today?


skills for a successful facilities manager

Successful facilities managers have these skills

skills for a successful facilities manager

Interested in a career in facilities management? Then you’ll need a wide-ranging set of skills from operations and maintenance to project management. It’s even more true now that the pandemic has changed the face of the workplace.

But beyond the tick box lists, what are the skills that an FM needs to really stand out from the competition? Here are the top skills that successful facilities managers need to succeed.

Adaptability

Successful facilities managers share one common trait - they’re cool under pressure. Whatever challenges arise, a good FM will demonstrate the adaptability to navigate what’s next by being agile, resilient and fully prepared.

Adapting to the changes brought about by the pandemic requires facilities management to adapt to a much more people-centric style. Managers will be expected to create a safe and coherent working environment where everything works seamlessly, and the financial implications and the health and safety of workers is perfectly balanced.

Data-driven approach

An FM needs to be able to do more than ensure safety, comfort, functionality and efficiency in the built environment. If you want to succeed you need a data-driven mindset that lets you analyse the quality of service and facilities spend, with a view to proactively identifying cost outliers and savings, as well as other areas for improvement.

Having the capacity to use analytics to leverage data is a key skill for any FM who wants to stay on top of their game.

Tech creativity

Every facilities manager knows that they can expect to encounter daily challenges. But how you deal with them, and the creativity of your technology solutions will help you innovate in the workplace and push your skillset into new areas.

Technology has assumed an ever-growing role in facilities management, particularly during the pandemic where the ability to leverage tech solutions has made the difference when making business adaptable to Covid-19.

As a manager, you’ll need an open mind and the ability to stay on top of new opportunities in reporting, service management and delivery. An FM who stays on top of innovation is in demand.

As our reliance on technology intensifies, human traits are at a greater premium than ever before. Remember that facilities management is, above all, a people facing business requiring unique communication and management skills.

Ultimately, well tooled technological solutions will keep people and assets safe as we navigate out of lockdown. For example, tracking and vetting solutions for the individuals that access your facility as employees, contractors or visitors.

Compassion

One of your most critical tasks is creating a healthy and happy working environment. That means dealing with people effectively and with compassion.

Being able to understand people’s challenges and pain points will make you better at creating the workplace they need instead of one that works on paper. And in light of the pandemic and fears around returning to the workplace, understanding and compassion are absolutely essential.

A combination of these essential skills will see you shine in your career. As the workplace changes, there are important challenges ahead and as a facilities manager, you’re ideally placed to meet them. Want to know more about an exciting career in facilities management? At Catch 22 we’re the specialist recruitment agency you can trust, so get in touch today to find out more.

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Changing jobs during a pandemic

Changing jobs during the pandemic - good idea or not?

Changing jobs during a pandemic

Changing jobs during the pandemic - good idea or not? Uncertain times tend to make us all risk-averse but changing jobs in the current situation can be a great idea. It might sound daunting with many businesses struggling but FM is a resilient sector and there are plenty of opportunities out there to give your career a boost.

If you’re a flexible applicant this could be your time to shine. With the majority of the competition sitting it out, your CV will stand out. Even with social distancing rules video interviews are still happening. The right facilities management job could be waiting for you at the end of that next Zoom call.

Want to know why changing jobs in a pandemic could be right for you? Read on.

Now is a good time to get networking

Now’s the time to make some powerful connections and network. People are looking to connect in lockdown and are far more likely to accept your call or your LinkedIn request. Take advantage of the opportunity to network and your next career move could be closer than you think.

You have time to build transferable skills

From CV writing to brushing up on new technology, the lockdown has given us all ample time to build skills that future employers are looking for. Focus on transferable skills that can be applied to any FM position and you’ll create more opportunities in the sector.

Take stock of your goals

This is a unique environment that gives you ample opportunity to take stock of where you are and where you want to be. It’s the right time to reevaluate what’s important. Get empowered by looking for a new job that is more closely aligned with your skills and strengths and that lets you actively enjoy your work. It’s a win-win for you and your new employers.

Be open to new opportunities

Even during the pandemic, certain sectors are still hiring and they still need candidates experienced in facilities management. Do your research and think about the ways your background and talents can offer value. Instead of a threat, the pandemic could offer you new opportunities for career growth if you’re prepared to think about the ways you can adapt to a different industry.

Job hunting from home is more comfortable

There’ll never be a better time to take the time to do a thorough job search. Networking is much easier when you’re not sneaking around to take calls from recruiters and HR and interviews are a breeze when you don’t have to fake an excuse to duck out of work early. Video interviews can be arranged to suit your schedule and you’ll be more comfortable in the familiar surroundings of your own home.

Do what makes you happy

Are you taking a risk changing jobs in a pandemic? Yes. But if you can find that FM job that gives you long term happiness and satisfaction then you’ll achieve career fulfilment.

Ready to see what’s on offer in the world of facilities management? Go through your checklist and then give Catch 22 a call. (Contact Us)


c22 team target growth opportunities

Catch 22 targets FM recruitment growth opportunities

c22 team target growth opportunities

Facilities Management recruitment specialists Catch 22 has announced a new management structure to implement its plans for future growth.

The senior team – spearheaded by chief executive officer Simon Aspinall and national operations director Scott Linnen – has also been bolstered by a significant investment in the agency.

Entrepreneur Gary Dewhurst, whose expertise is in the recruitment sector, has taken a 50 percent stake in the business after recognising the opportunities for strategic growth which the pair have identified. Meanwhile, former managing director Vince Parker, one of Catch 22’s original founders, has relinquished his role in the business but will continue to advise the team.

The Leeds-headquartered business, which also has offices in London and Manchester, currently supplies high quality temporary and permanent staff to a wide range of organisations – including more than 20 of the UK’s top 50 facilities management service providers.

As part of its ambitious plans, it is seeking to expand its nationwide reach by further developing the business outside its core areas of the South East, North West, Midlands, and Yorkshire.
Catch 22 also intends to grow its share of the technical recruitment market – providing more ‘hard services’ roles, such as those in the building maintenance, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and mechanical sectors.

Simon Aspinall said: “We have identified a number of opportunities within the FM & Workplace sector and I’m confident that, by developing these, Catch 22 can enjoy a period of extended growth.
“I’d also like to highlight the contribution being made by Gary Dewhurst. His investment is crucial to our future plans, but he also has a proven track record in founding and growing a number of successful niche recruitment businesses.”

Gary recently left his role as part-time CEO of gap Personnel Group after selling his remaining shares in the Wrexham-headquartered company, having sold a 75% stake in 2017 to Japanese-listed recruiter BeNEXT – allowing him to devote more time to invest in his portfolio of 10 companies.
Catch 22 was founded in London in 1982 and quickly developed an enviable reputation for its ability to supply high quality temporary and permanent staff across a range of roles in the Facilities Management and Workplace sector.

Scott Linnen added: “Catch 22 has traditionally excelled in providing ‘soft services’ across the support, office and executive functions of the FM sector but we intend to now grow our share of the technical market which we have identified as an area for significant growth.
“We would also like to thank Vince Parker for his many contributions that have transformed Catch 22 into the nationwide success it is today and wish him well in his future ventures.”


Linkedin app on a mobile phone

5 Tips For Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has more than 600 million users worldwide!  So whether you are looking for work or not, it's vital that you have a presence on LinkedIn.  A LinkedIn profile will help potential employers and recruiters see your experience at a glance.  And this means that you are more likely to be contacted with relevant job opportunities.  However, there are some top tips when it comes to making the most of your LinkedIn profile.  And remember, sometimes a poor profile can be worse than no profile at all.

Here are our top tips!

Linkedin profile photo man in a suitThe right profile picture

Your profile picture is the first impression people will get when they visit your LinkedIn profile.  It's important that the picture you choose is right for your industry and your position.  But it's equally important to add a picture as opposed to leaving it out.  If you don't include a profile picture, think what that says about you.  Does it say that you don't finish a job properly?  That your account isn't very active?

But don't worry.  if you'd rather not have a headshot, why not have a picture of you performing your job? Be creative to stand out, but keep it professional.

An eye-catching headline on LinkedIn

When anyone is searching on LinkedIn, what they see first is a thumbnail image and a headline. Whilst the default is for this to be your job title, it doesn't have to be.  You have 120 characters, so you can be as creative as you want to be.  You can even use emoji's if appropriate - they certainly help you to stand out. A great way to stand out is to think about what it is your job achieves.  There's an eye-catching headline right there.

A well-crafted summary

Despite having 2000 characters to use in your summary, our advice is don't!  Too much information and it won't get seen.  We are all processing a lot of information on a daily basis, so keep it short and interesting!  This is your elevator pitch and getting it right will really help you to stand out. Not sure where to start?  Take a look at your peers or competitors for some ideas. But remember to make it your own!

linkedin connections graphicMake connections

Just because you have a LinkedIn profile, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will start receiving connection requests.  Be proactive and get those invitations sent out.  Start with your colleagues and go from there.  LinkedIn is full of fantastic algorithms that will make suggestions of who you should connect with. If you are looking for work then connect with local recruiters who work in your sector.  You'll be amazed how quickly you start to receive calls or messages with new opportunities.

Ask for recommendations on LinkedIn

Bonus tip. It is not essential but it will certainly help you to stand out!  Having recommendations on your profile is a way of helping to prove that you are good at your job.  Are there particular skills that you want to highlight - ask for a recommendation!  These can be from colleagues, managers, clients - get as many as you can!

So now that you have a standout LinkedIn profile, why not send us a connection request? You can also follow companies on LinkedIn too.  Follow Catch22 and be the first to know about our new jobs.


Catch22 blog header

4 top tips to help make your CV stand out!

For most people, writing a CV isn't an easy job to get right.  You may think that you've done a great CV, but is it what hiring managers are really looking for?

There are many different ways a CV can be laid out but there are some simple tips to help make sure it gets noticed.

There are more people looking for work now than ever before, so standing out is key.  Here's some top tips from our expert consultants.

 

Make sure you take time to tailor your CV to each application

Tailoring a CV is a lot more than a 2 minute job. But if you take your time, the rewards will be worth it.  Whilst it may be tempting to get your CV in as quickly as possible, this may not always be the best option.

Here's our advice to make this an easier process.  Follow these simple steps to help make your next application your best yet.

  • Make sure that you have the job advert to hand.  Most answers to what the hiring manager is looking for should be in the ad.
  • Is there a list of desirable and essential skills?  Make it really easy for the hiring manager to see if you are suitable.  Create a grid format of your experience areas and include the number of years in each.  If this is at the beginning of your CV after your personal profile it will tempt the hiring manager to read more.  Don't make them have to search through your CV for what they are looking for
  • And finally - do your research!  Are there any particular pain points this sectors is experiencing at the moment.  Show that you know about that, even if you have no hands on experience.  However, you may have worked in a similar environment before.  You may have even identified and resolved similar pain points before.  Make sure that you showcase this.

Best CV tips

Perfect your CV elevator pitch

Did you know that decisions on CV's can be made in as little as 6 seconds!

You should always start your CV with a personal profile. Don't leave it out as its the first thing most people read.  You should be able to read your personal profile and get a really good overview of your skills and experience.  Our top tip when it comes to personal profile is to have a friend, or relative read it for you.  Someone who will be honest!

Getting someone else to give feedback on your CV is always a good idea.  Someone who knows you will know if you have sold yourself enough.  Are there skills that other people believe you have that your've not included?

 

Don't forget the basics

As silly as it may sound, it's easy to make simple mistakes on your CV.  When checking, you end up looking for the bigger things, but don't forget to check EVERYTHING!

Are your employment dates right?  Or, have you mistakenly put gaps in your CV - check!  If there are gaps in your CV anyway, then include this gap as if it were another job. Include the dates and if you can explain why you were unemployed and/or what you spent your time doing.  Maybe you were looking for work and also using the time to update your skills?  Don't leave anything to assumption - be open and honest.

Check the spelling, the formatting, the dates.  Literally check everything is right before you press send.  Don't let a silly mistake come between you and an interview.

 

Results not just responsibilities

This is one of the best ways to make your CV stand out!  Your excellent personal profile and skills grid has gained the interest of the hiring manager.  Don't lose it now!

Simply listing your responsibilities in each job doesn't show that you were good at them. It also doesn't help show which you were particularly good at.  Maybe there was an area you were strong in and were asked to mentor someone else?  Or, were you given additional responsibilities for a job well done?  Tell the story - highlight things like this on your CV.

For each role include an achievements section.  It doesn't have to be long, in fact, it can be just one thing.  Highlighting your achievements in each role will really support your application.  Having a job title means you were simply hired to do a job - achievements show that you were great at it!  Additionally, if you can link these achievements back to the job you are applying for then all the better!

 

Looking for Permanent or Contract work?

For positions across the spectrum of Facilities and Property Management, from junior roles to boardroom level, Catch 22 is here to help find that right job for you. We can provide advice on the whole jobfinding process and help you to present yourself in the best possible way to potential employers.

Can’t see anything you fancy on our current vacancies page? Just give us a call to discuss the sort of position you’re looking for and we will use our industry knowledge to help uncover those hard-to-find jobs that need exceptional candidates.


How to find a new job during the pandemic

How to find a new job during the pandemic

You might be surprised to discover that a pandemic might not be the worst time to look for a new job. While some industries are having to lose workers, others are hiring. A quick search through LinkedIn or using the hashtags #nowhiring and #hiring should give you a good idea as to what jobs are around.

If you have lost your job as a result of Covid-19 or you were looking for a new role in FM when the crisis hit, don’t give up - just follow these tips for job hunting during a pandemic.

Be job search ready

Now’s the time to undertake these three essential tasks:

- Update your CV, tweaking it for any job you apply for
- Write a cover letter that gets you noticed
- Update your profile on LinkedIn

And upgrade your online job searches:

- Set job alerts
- Use relevant hashtags to search
- Organise your job search for a smoother result

Research the job market

A quick look around and at the news will tell you who’s doing well post lockdown and what sectors to avoid. Travel, food and entertainment have all been hard hit by social distancing. But food and retail, healthcare and cleaning services are thriving which could present a good match up with your facilities management skills.

For businesses that have emerged from lockdown relatively unscathed, tapping into new talent is a priority. Not only are organisations looking for more workers, but they’re looking to onboard fast, so make sure you’re available to move as quickly as possible.

Become a remote worker

Covid-19 has pushed many organisations towards a swift digital transformation, making remote working more attainable and attractive than ever. It’s a particularly good option if you’ve been cocooning or you’re uncertain about a return to your old ways of working. All you need is an internet connection to search for, and land, those work from home jobs. Try searching the top job sites for freelance and telecommute jobs. Or try some of the more niche job search sites that deal with the gig economy.

If you can work from home you may have a better chance than ever of getting a job. If you can solve an organisation’s hiring problems then let them know your most valuable qualifications upfront.

Get interview ready

The chances are you’ll be interviewed via video so take the time to get to know how Zoom and Skype work. It may be a learning curve but practising your interview techniques and the way you present yourself on camera can be critical to getting hired. Pay attention to your choice of outfit, lighting and background - Zoom lets you select a suitably professional backdrop.

Upgrade your networks

Networking doesn’t depend on face to face for success so make the most of socials including LinkedIn and Facebook. Take some time to endorse former colleagues or offer to help friends with tasks such as proofreading their CV and cover letter. You can also take the time to upgrade your own skillset through online courses then polish up your profile.

Key takeaways

Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean businesses aren’t hiring. Take the time to get job search and interview-ready and remember that these are challenging times for all so be prepared for when that new job lands.


man in a suit pushing a giant rock uphill

Top challenges faced by Facilities Managers

Facilities Managers might seem like unlikely superheroes but the best of them are capable of dealing with many challenges. Facilities management might be primarily concerned with keeping the built environment functioning smoothly, but if you work in FM you need to remain alert and flexible enough to deal with the latest trends.

Juggling responsibilities

Keeping on top of so many responsibilities is one of the biggest challenges facing managers. Ensuring that the built environment is functional and safe and that it meets HSE and government standards can be tough and makes FM recruitment a top priority for any business.

Changing standards

Just when you’re on top of one set of standards and regulations, the goalposts move. That means more compliance issues and industry changes to stay on top of, plus resources, staff and budgets to juggle. The way to meet this particular challenge is to stay up to speed on the changing landscape and make sure your training and accreditation are up to the job.

Ageing systems

Machinery, inventory and structures all degrade as they age. And that can lead to breakdowns, loss of productivity and threats to structural integrity. Proper budgeting coupled with planned and preventative maintenance can help to soften the blow when things need to be replaced.

Make resources work harder

FM is all about making resources work harder and more effectively, a real challenge when those resources are scarce. The pressure to perform in circumstances where budgets are stretched raises expectations that facilities managers need to find ways to meet.

Cutting costs

If FM is all about doing more with less, another challenge is to actively cut costs across facilities to increase revenues. Proactive managers can look to energy conservation and increasing the lifespan of equipment through proper maintenance. Close tracking of inventory and assets are other effective ways to control costs.

Managing security

Does your organisation have a proper recovery plan if there’s a major incident in your facility? Another challenge for FM can be coordinating emergency preparedness planning across the entire facility. These security-related responsibilities focus managers on disaster recovery planning and emergency evacuation, adding additional responsibilities to the workload.

Sustainability

As energy costs continue to soar and concerns about the environmental impact of ageing infrastructure continue to grow, FM faces an increasing challenge of adhering to an organisation's sustainability policies and finding new and innovative ways to shrink the existing carbon footprint. Reducing energy usage and finding better ways to manage waste through reuse and recycling are top priorities for managers who will also need to consider lifecycle sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

Time management

Facilities Managers can sometimes feel like being a superhero without the cape. There are a million things to do and never enough time to do them in and that’s without attending budget meetings and answering emails. Add in management concerns, employees questions and issues to be addressed and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That makes developing effective time management strategies one of the biggest challenges facing any facility manager.

Flexibility, diligence and creativity are all qualities the best facility managers have in spades. Because the way in which facilities management faces its myriad challenges can define not only the success of the individual but the organisation as a whole, which makes a great recruitment strategy critical.


New year's career resolutions to make in 2020

New year's career resolutions to make in 2020!

Want to make your career in facilities management shine in 2020? You need to decide on realistic goals that can be achieved in a timely fashion throughout the coming year. If you want to start moving on and moving up, then these are the top career resolutions to make now.

Get into learning mode

Been doing the same FM job for a while and starting to coast? Now’s the time to switch your brain into learning mode and adopt a growth mindset. Even if the things you learn don’t directly relate to your skill set, it’s the attitude that matters.

Make an impact

Want to gain maximum visibility? Then pick the big high profile FM projects and make your contribution felt. Create your own opportunities rather than waiting to be invited to climb the next rung of the career ladder. Get some clarity on what you need to do to be considered for promotion and take steps to get there.

Step outside your comfort zone

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Make 2020 the year that you stretch your role and show some initiative. Whether you seek out a different role in one of the big facilities management projects on your patch or come up with your own ideas and find ways to implement them, taking on some new responsibilities is a cast-iron way to gain experience and become more valuable to your company.

Build a great relationship with your boss

When it comes to advancing your career, fostering a great relationship with your boss is paramount. Managing up is a smart strategy for developing that relationship, so find out what issues are keeping them up at night and find ways to ease the burden. Help your boss to hit their goals and chances are they’ll be more motivated to help you hit yours. Whatever the financial or performance targets they need to hit, be around to help them achieve their goals.

Manage across your team

When you’re working on team projects, the way you interact with your colleagues can make or break the chances of success. Always give credit where it’s due and make the effort to engage and build rapport. Giving emotional support can help you work as a team more effectively and build more meaningful and productive relationships in the long term.

Communicate better

One of the quickest ways to improve your profile is to improve your communication skills. Return calls and emails promptly, keep your colleagues updated, ask them about their own progress and projects and give thanks and credit where it’s due. If you’re going to be unavailable, let people know in a timely fashion.

Be open to new possibilities

Want to move up or move on in FM? Whether you’re happy or not in your current position, you should always have one eye out for new possibilities. See something that’s a good fit and you could open up a whole new career avenue so make sure your CV is up to date and uploaded.

Create a work-life balance

If you're miserable and demotivated at work then your career is liable to stall. Make this the year that you claw back some time for friends and family and don’t forget to take those holiday days to rebalance your life and career.


Blog - Catch 22

Is it time for a career pivot?

Have you hit a plateau in your career? Then you could be due a career pivot. If you’re ready to take a risk then why not make a confident and intentional career change that takes you in a new but related direction.

Do I need a career pivot?

Feeling that you’re due a career change can be as simple as not wanting to get up and do your job in the morning. If that sounds like you, then be on the lookout for a lack of engagement with your work or feeling low in energy and enthusiasm. If you’re staying on your present career path simply because of the money and the job title, it could be time to pivot.

Inventory your strengths and skills

Before you start seriously pursuing new career goals, it’s time to take an inventory. What are the transferable strengths and skills and the value-adds you bring to your current position? What are the skills you’ll need for your pivot in facilities management? Where are the gaps in your knowledge?

You’ll need to complete this process before moving on to the next step.

Work on filling the gaps

If you’re looking to pivot within facilities management, you need to sharpen up your skillset. You may need to take a related qualification or hone your communication skills. If you work as an FM, you’re in the right place to start your own skills bootcamp by asking the right questions and meeting the right people. If you want to get into facilities management, start working on your knowledge gap by reading websites and trade publications.

Formulate your pivot plan

Creating a plan with measurable milestones will help you to pinpoint the right time to pivot. Consider the following metrics:

- Financial goals: set goals for savings or money earned before you commit to the pivot
- Progress checkpoints: set goals for your accomplishments as you move towards your pivot point - the number of clients you’ve accrued or the projects you’d like to accomplish
- Data based planning: set a target date for acquiring new skills and exploring what’s involved in your career pivot
- Gut instincts: If you feel that you’re ready to move or you can’t stay in the same career any longer, you’re ready to make the pivot

Take time to update

Now you’re ready to update, set aside the time to do the following:

- Revise your CV to take in new skills, experience and qualifications
- Maximise your LinkedIn profile
- Order new business cards
- Continue to familiarise yourself with your new dream job title and industry
- Review and revisit your elevator pitch to include your new skillset

Take the leap

Letting go of your safety net will never be completely risk-free, however well prepared you are. But it’s worth remembering how you felt when you got into your career in the first place and were hungry to establish yourself. Use that energy and enthusiasm to say yes to everything, no matter how small.

Your career pivot can take time and will require reserves of resilience. But once you make the move you’ll find yourself taking chances and by moving out of your comfort zone, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to let your skills and strengths do the talking.