I know. We always start out the New Year with a resolution and try hard to stick with it. Most times, we stray from our goal. Whether it is fitting more exercise in our daily routine or spending more quality time with our family – we always have good intentions. Our busy lives just get in the way.
As an executive search consultant, I receive a sizeable number of calls at the beginning of the year from candidates expressing interest in changing jobs. Finding a new position becomes their New Year’s resolution. Some individuals are blocked from a promotion, interested in a new challenge or just feeling unappreciated. My colleagues and I try to make the time to spend a few minutes listening. Typically, job seekers describe the kind of role and industry sector that interests them. Conducting a job search can be loaded with several emotions that may sometimes cloud a person’s thoughts about how to start a search as well as how to manage one.
So if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job but you are not sure how to get started, these suggestions may help guide you:
- Have you exhausted all options within your current company? Have you made your career interests known to your boss and other colleagues so they may have you in mind as new opportunities emerge?
- In addition to updating your resume, put together a list of target companies. This list is a helpful document to share with others to facilitate conversation and get them thinking about different options for you.
- Ensure you can succinctly describe what you have done and what you want to do. Your description should be clear and crisp.
- Do you have an updated LinkedIn profile? If you don’t, potential employers and search firms may not find you. An incomplete or outdated profile sometimes sends the message that you are too traditional or haven’t kept up with changes in technology.
- Network. Network. Network. You should be spending at least 80% of the time devoted to your search networking with others vs. applying to positions online.
- This may not be politically correct, but have you updated your image? Ensure your wardrobe is in good shape and your hair style is up-to-date. You don’t want a company representative distracted or turned off by your appearance. Instead, you want them to concentrate on your credentials and the substance of your conversation.
- How are you keeping track of all the people you are speaking with throughout your job search? Follow-up is extremely important and, at times, luck plays a role in getting your next job. Be in front of others at the right time and place to hear about that new opportunity. If you haven’t reached out a second time to networking contacts, they may not remember you at a critical time when they could be recommending you for an opening.
If your New Year’s resolution is to identify your next career move, keep your mind open to possibilities. Network and remain connected in the marketplace. Always remain positive and focused. No one wants to hear negative comments about your boss or company. People want to be around others who are positive, energetic and upbeat. That’s what the New Year is all about, and with a little bit of hard work, 2012 may be the year you keep that resolution.