I love the beginning of a new year, it is a great chance to refocus and either re-evaluate goals you are working to or even set new ones. I don’t have any statistics to measure this but I am sure that one of the more popular new year’s resolutions in the general workforce is to either get a new job or work to further develop one’s career. I think this is a good idea, in today’s competitive work force people should have a plan of what they want to do, what role they are after and how to get there.
One common mistake I think many people make though is that a career plan shouldn’t be a once a year thought.
When people finish with the holiday season with their new year’s resolution to find a new job fresh in their mind, you can see the enthusiasm and motivation a person has to make something happen. Emails are sent, calls are made, applications are made, networking is happening, etc….. Finding the right role that you are after however can be difficult, while it would be great if that dream role was available just at the time you happened to be looking for it – in reality this is not always the case.
Job Seekers need to keep reminding themselves that while sometimes that dream job they are after is available at the same time they are looking, that also a Job search can be a difficult and long process. Many people who set out with the best of intentions in January to find a new job can soon lose interest in a job search if they do not immediately find a role. Just like the Christmas decorations are put away and the photos from New Year’s are stored away – a Job Seeker’s motivation may slowly decrease until that person finds themselves 12 months later in the same situation in same role and looking for that new opportunity again.
Rather than just “going for it” and looking for a role in the month of January, a person’s job search or career plan should be an ongoing activity and thought process that is constantly updated and evaluated over the course of the year.
It can be hard to stay motivated over an extended period of time, especially when you are newly motivated and ready for that new role and the results are not immediate. Rather than letting your job search fall down the priority list and into the “too hard basket” a few ideas that may keep your enthusiasm fresh
- Update your resume every 6 months, even if you are not looking for a job – it is easy to forget what you have accomplished if you don’t keep your details updated. Also it is good to be prepared and have a resume ready to go in case you do get an unexpected phone call for that ‘dream job’ you have been hoping for.
- Work out what you want out of your next role before you begin your job search – rather than aimlessly searching job ads or talking to people – think of the organisations or type of role you would like before you search. If you know what you are looking for it will be much easier to work out how to get there than if you do not know what you want.
- Don’t expect immediate results once you decide to look for another job, things don’t always fall into place. Timing and delivery can be important pieces of being selected for a role, companies don’t hire every role in January.
- Have an open mind – people you meet or talk to may not result in immediate results for your job search but every connection may help you get a bit closer to what you are after
These actions will not guarantee a positive result, but in today’s competitive work force every little of extra preparation and planning helps. All the best for 2011 and I hope your career plan whatever it may be is a success.