With the bells of another New Year faintly ringing, your thoughts are likely still lingering on those resolutions. Will this year be the year where I actually see them through? Am I trying to conquer the unconquerable?
When you set achievable goals, even when they’re a bit of a stretch, your New Year’s resolutions can actually help you gain some perspective and strengthen you as an individual — both personally and professionally.
For those of you with “change jobs” or “switch careers” ranking high on your list of resolutions, rest assured that the odds are in your favor. A recent report on current job trends found that more than 6 million positions are still left unfilled. What’s more, 62 percent of people are planning to make a change to their professional lives this New Year, which inevitably creates turnover.
So with conditions being so favorable for finding a new job, you may be wondering how to make it happen. Here’s a good place to start:
1. Make the most of your current job.
At one time or another, we all come to a point where we start to question our career choices. If you’re hoping to make a change, don’t just bide your time at your current job. A change in perspective may help you take advantage of all the opportunities available to you.
Would a new position make you feel differently about the organization? What about some new responsibilities? Stepping outside your comfort zone may not only lead to a renewed commitment to your employer but expose you to tasks and projects that expand your skill set, making you more marketable to other companies.
2. Develop a job search plan.
Would you take a road trip without your trusty GPS? That’s what a job search can be like without some sort of plan. Look at your schedule and find any amount of time to devote some serious attention to the process. Blocking off a couple hours here and there can often help you make some headway.
If you’re busy, make the process more manageable by breaking it up into categories. You could use an hour on Monday, for example, to look at job boards, and set aside two hours on Wednesdays to send off emails and applications. Then, pencil in Thursdays for any follow-ups from the week.
3. Connect with your network.
People won’t know you’re looking for a new job unless you tell them. Reach out and connect over coffee or lunch. But don’t make the meetings about you. Ask your contacts questions about their lives. Eventually, the conversation will turn to what you’ve been up to, giving you the perfect opportunity to discuss your job search.
And don’t assume that the only contacts who can help you are those that can offer you a job. Talk to everyone in your network. You never know who will connect you to the employer waiting for someone like you. Besides, each meeting will serve to strengthen your professional relationships — relationships that may help you later on.
4. Get organized.
As clichéd as it may sound, you need to get organized when searching for a job. Start off with your resume and update it with all your accomplishments so far. Then, move on to your social profiles. After all, 70 percent of employers
use social media to screen talent. Clean up your image on Facebook, Twitter, etc. And while you’re at it, update your LinkedIn page to ensure it supports your resume.
5. Work with a recruiter.
Not everyone can devote enough time to a job search to make the progress they want — even with a job search plan. That’s why many jobseekers passively look for jobs by working with a recruiter, such as Staffmark. If an opportunity crops up, they almost immediately hear about it from someone with connections at the employer.
Plus, more and more companies are opting out of job boards, going directly to staffing agencies instead. When working with a recruiter, you gain access to jobs you’d never hear about otherwise. You’ll also have the chance to work with someone who can refocus your resume and make you more desirable to employers.
6. Go social with your search efforts.
Did you know that you cut down the chances of finding a job when you’re not on social media? Seventy-nine percent of people use social platforms to help in their job search, while a whopping 93 percent of companies use LinkedIn to find and hire talent.
But don’t just set up an account and expect the offers to come rolling in. Reach out to your connections — and your connections’ connections — on the platform. Second- and third-degree connections can often lead to job referrals. And a study of Facebook users shows similar findings on this platform as well.
7. Prepare for your performance.
Talking about yourself isn’t always easy, and you may be left a bit tongue-tied when trying to remember examples of past accomplishments off the top of your head. Practicing aloud can help. It’ll ensure you make the best possible impression when speaking to your experience, skills, and interests.
Before applying for a job, take some time to work up potential interview questions. Then, practice your answers either by yourself or with a trusted friend. You’d be surprised how much more relaxed you’ll feel when you finally sit down with a recruiter, hiring manager, or whoever else can offer you a job.
If you’re considering changing jobs or even switching careers, let us know. A member of our team would be more than happy to meet with you and explore all the opportunities available to someone with your unique background and experience.