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New Year, New Career!

When the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, a lot of people look to the new year to focus on their physical and mental health. But what about your career health? Are you happy in your current role? Are you seeking a change?

It has been found that January is the best month to apply for a job, as many employers hire in the late winter/early spring.

Finding rewarding and fulfilling work can be lonely and challenging, especially if you aren’t sure what type of job you are looking for or how you are going to start a new career. You might also be asking yourself, “Where do I look?” and “Will a new job make me happier?” Before you start applying for jobs, there are some steps you can take to set you up for success.

First and foremost, clearly define what type of job you are looking for using the SMART goals approach, which is outlined below.

  • Specific: What industry or sector do you want to work in? Do you want to stay local, or are you willing to move? How much do you need to earn?
  • Measurable: How many resumes will you send out per week? How many networking events will you attend each month?
  • Attainable: What you can achieve right now? Don’t forget to also plan for bigger and better goals in the future.
  • Relevant: Are your goals for job seeking related to the type of job you are looking for? Are you looking in the right places?
  • Timely: Set a deadline for achieving your goals. A goal without a deadline allows for procrastination and inaction.

Once that important step has been completed, here are some pointers to keep in mind that are sometimes overlooked.

  • Get your resume ready
    Take the time to refresh your resume by adding new skills and work experiences. Have a person you trust or a career coach review your resume for gaps and areas of improvement. Don’t forget to tailor your resume to align with the position(s) you are applying to.
  • Get LinkedIn
    LinkedIn acts like your online resume and professional persona. Make sure your profile is not only up-to-date, but completed in full. Also, ensure you are connected and interacting with your professional contacts.
  • Review/tidy up your social media
    Keep your social profiles current and professional. Err on the side of caution when posting (and remove any questionable posts) as recruiters and hiring managers check social media accounts of potential candidates. A misstep on your behalf could cost you a job.
  • Use your network
    You are not alone when searching for a job. You have a network of people who can help you. Reach out to old bosses and colleagues, professionals in your field and/or industry, as well as your friends.
  • Declutter/organize your home office
    Your desk and surrounding area should be neat and tidy. A clean and organized workspace allows you to think clearly.
  • Don’t neglect your physical and mental health
    While job hunting, don’t sacrifice your mental and physical health. Set aside time to partake in activities, such as a walk, meditation and eating healthy. Reward yourself for successes, even small ones.