New Year – New Career? Part One

2021, Career Guidance

It is that twilight time between Christmas and New Year. Too much food has been eaten, too much Netflix has been watched (though ‘Don’t Look Up’ was a hoot) and thought inevitably begin to turn toward the return to work. If resolutions are still a thing, if you are making a big, career-related New Year’s resolution this year, we are betting it is one of three things: finding a new job, getting a big promotion at your current company, or finally venturing out on your own.

In fact, it is great to make resolutions. They are a way for us to look forward to the New Year with optimism that is active rather than passive. It is a proclamation of how you want the New Year to be better and how you are going to do it. The problem comes when those resolutions are too generic and impossible to measure. After the 2021 that most of us have had, it is not that unusual that we should be looking for something of a clean slate for 2022. 

For the New Year, look at your career and set some firm, measurable goals that you can actually track and achieve. Here are some workplace goals for the New Year that will make it your best work year ever – whether you are planning to move up in your existing job or begin a new career altogether. 

Firstly, whatever your goals, get your resume updated. COVID notwithstanding, it is always a good idea to be regularly updating your resume. Experts say that every 6-12 months is a good yardstick because as your skills grow, your desired career direction may alter.

If you do not update your resume regularly, you will no doubt have stuff on there that dates you, making you look stale and, most importantly, is no longer relevant to your current career arc. And with recruiters spending six seconds viewing a resume, you cannot afford to be anything less right on target. Small plug – Select Resumes have years of experience and have helped 100’s of individuals with updating their resumes to fighting weight. Especially during the current pandemic, we have already helped many clients to be ready for a fresh start. 

New Year, New Career Resolutions For 2022

Strike now – do not wait for January to roll around. Many jobseekers postpone submitting applications until the New Year, believing their resume will languish in an unattended inbox if sent over Christmas. In truth, 33 per cent of employees will be in work this Christmas, and a further 10 per cent will be working from home. Even on Christmas Day, your application may well have been read, with 56 per cent of workers expected to have checked their emails on December 25th.

Many job sites will forward your application to a recruitment agency or a general company email that, with fewer personnel on hand, may not get regularly checked. Instead, skip the middleman. Once you find a job that is a good fit, do a little research online before sending your application to email addresses that will land your resume under the right noses. And we have always said, with fewer people applying, your chance of landing an interview grows immensely. 

If you are thinking of moving up the ladder in your existing job, list the new skills you will need. You will likely need new skills to move ahead with your career plans, so strategise about how you can get them. Talk to your manager or supervisor to determine if there are ways you can expand your current skills by participating in new projects.

Also, manage your reputation. You are nothing without a solid, dependable reputation, so make sure that yours speaks for itself. How can you influence what other people know about you? Create online profiles in all of the networks you intend to use. LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are all useful and allow you to post heaps of information that highlight your expertise. Make sure your online profiles feature the information you want people to know about you when they Google your name.

Remember, do not just think about yourself and your own job – keep an eye on the future. Have you thought about the outlook for your company and industry as we come out of COVID? Is the company going to have to downsize to survive? Are opportunities going to freelancers instead of full-time employees? Is your job easily automated? Now is a good time to start thinking about the outlook for 2022 and beyond. Be realistic and brutally honest and consider what action you should take if prospects are not promising.

In Part Two, we will look at more ways to make sure your career stays on track into the New Year. 

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