A new year brings new possibilities. As we turn over the calendar, we tend to look forward to the New Year as a chance to reset ourselves and we resolve to make improvements, both personally and professionally. If your New Year’s resolution is to be a happier person in 2018, a new job could be just the answer. Considering how much time we spend at work, enjoying your job can significantly impact your overall happiness. You deserve job satisfaction ― and it is achievable.
So you’ve made your New Year’s resolution to change jobs or maybe even reinvent yourself in a new career, but how do you make this happen? What do you do first? Where do you begin? How do you get from hopes and wishes to reality? It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a job search. I have learned that the key to a successful job transition is in the planning.
Many people think that if they just apply to every job out there, they will find that perfect job. They call this the “spray and pray” method. That is like buying lottery tickets and expecting to live off the winnings. It rarely happens and indeed, is very unrealistic. The best approach to landing that great new job is to prepare and start with a plan.
6 steps to a successful career development plan:
- Take stock of yourself as a person and an employee. What do you really enjoy doing? Can you articulate your special skills and areas of expertise? What motivates you? Do you know your ideal work culture? This type of evaluation will help you identify your best-fit career and is an important first step that sets the foundation for a successful job search.
- Clarify your overall career goal: what job do you really want? Without knowing what you want to achieve, can you expect to achieve it? After you identify your long-term career goal, you need to determine what you can do now to get you there. (For more information on setting career goals, see this great article by Alison Doyle.)
- Break your job search into specific, manageable steps that keep you moving in the right direction. This will increase your odds of success and also speed up your results, which is especially important if you are working full time and need to be efficient with your time.
- Work in a logical progression. The steps build upon each other, so the right order is important. For example, if the job you want requires skills that you don’t possess, one of the first steps in your career plan should be to acquire those skills. Planning strategically will help you move toward your goal while maintaining control over the process.
- Track your progress. Ongoing monitoring helps you analyze the effectiveness of everything you are doing. If something is working, then keep doing it. If it is not working, either change it up or stop doing it altogether. Progress is made one step at a time and acknowledging all your little successes along the way will keep you motivated and build your self-confidence.
- Keep a record of your efforts. Whether you use an Excel spreadsheet like I do or handwritten entries in a notebook, log all the companies you contact, networking events you attend and jobs for which you apply. This will help you stay organized and ready for when an employer contacts you to schedule an interview.
Here’s how you can get started:
If developing a job search plan is not something you do want to tackle on your own, I can help you start your job search before other jobseekers act on their New Year’s resolutions. I have helped thousands of people turn around unsuccessful job searches. I will make sure you are well prepared for a successful career transition so you achieve faster results with less aggravation. Why go through it alone when there is a friendly, knowledgeable resource available? (I really like this stuff!)
As a Career Coach, I offer an objective view of the current job market, employers’ needs and jobseekers’ marketability. Over the years, I have developed a proven job search process that helps my clients win interviews with their target companies and land great job offers. I put together a customized weekly job search plan for each of my clients that reduces their frustration and keeps them moving forward. As your collaborative partner, I will help you identify your specific career goals, create a strong resume that positions you for the role you want and then develop an strategic job search plan to get you into that new job.
You’ve made your New Year’s resolution. Now set yourself up for success through planning and preparation. Let’s work together to make that career goal a reality, while employers are busy filling their 2018 positions.