New Year – New Career? Part Two
In Part One of this blog entry, we looked at ways to prepare yourself for a career or job move as 2022 approaches. This time, we’ll concentrate on what you really want from your career. Recruitment websites and agencies often have a huge increase in the number of candidates signing up with them early in the New Year, as those January career resolutions swing into gear.
Before you start uploading your resume to every job aggregate site you can find, it’s really important to think about what you actually want and what job is right for you. You need to be sure about what jobs you’re looking for – and why. This will stop you from wasting time applying for unsuitable positions that you’re never likely to be shortlisted for. If you are hesitant or not totally onboard in the particular job you’re applying for, this will often be picked up by employers and interpreted as a lack of commitment, making you seem like a potentially risky candidate.
Remember, no matter what field you are in, there are hundreds of new skills you can learn that could benefit your career. Is there one you’ve been meaning to learn? Set it as one of your work goals for 2022 and get it done. You won’t regret it. If it can enhance your work in your current job, your company might even be willing to pay for it!
Now, de-clutter your virtual and actual filing cabinets. Many of us have file cabinets that are filled with old papers that are not remotely relevant to our work anymore. It doesn’t take long to clean them out, and you’ll be glad you did. Weed through those files, recycle what you don’t need, and organise the rest. This goes for your computer files, too. It’s amazing what a clean, uncluttered workspace does for your wellbeing.
Next, prepare the ground by increasing your networking skills. There’s really no downside to increasing the size of your professional network. You probably meet people all the time, but do you take the time to listen, grab their business card, and connect with them? Try to find at least one person per month starting this January to add to your LinkedIn connections and watch your network blossom. And speaking of LinkedIn, how does your profile look? In the professional world, LinkedIn is crucial to your overall personal brand. Just like your resume, you need to keep the information, tone, and look of it up to date. Check out some of your connections’ LinkedIn profiles and see if they’re doing anything different that positively grabs your attention. If so, tweak your page to create a similar effect. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or want help writing a winning LinkedIn profile for your job search, consider investing in Select Resumes’ LinkedIn service.
How was your work/life balance during 2021? It was a tough year. Things were improving, then Delta hit. Then things were on the up again, and now we have Omicron. But Australia has come through pretty well compared to other parts of the world, so don’t think that a good work/life balance doesn’t apply to you because it does. Get clear on your boundaries in terms of hours that you work and projects you take on, and then stick to those boundaries, so your colleagues start to know how best to work with you.
If you work late every night, vow to leave the office earlier. Many people work long hours every day, and it really infringes on their personal life. They want to leave earlier each day but aren’t sure how to go about doing it or worry that they’ll become dispensable. One solution is to come in earlier. If you can get things done first thing in the morning, perhaps it will allow you to leave earlier each day. Another solution is to delegate more. If you’re a supervisor or leading hand, try giving your employees more work so that you will have less. You can also try to prioritise better. Don’t try to please everyone because then you’ll end up pleasing no one. Work on the most important projects and realise that you can’t finish everything in one day. There’s always tomorrow.
And finally, keep an eye on the important things. Don’t forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. If you’ve been neglecting your health, your family or friends, make a point to address those concerns in the New Year, and you’ll be more likely to be successful in your work life as well.