I’m not always one for New Year resolutions but I do think of January as a good time to take stock of things and to see what I want from the next year. One big element of this for many people is looking at their job, their career. This is why job hunting is a popular New Year task but if you do it right, it doesn’t need to be a hard one.
Preparing for job hunting
If my New Year plans involve starting job hunting, then I always do a little preparation work during the first week or so of the month (sometimes even on New Year’s Day if I’m up to it!) and the first place I start is my CV. There are loads of great templates available and plenty of good advice sites on the Internet to help you get the right information in it. Don’t forget to adapt it for the job in question each time and not simply send out a generic document.
As well as checking my CV is up to date, I also check through my social media feed and make sure all the professional stuff is in the right place. One of my friends recently had an interview where they asked her about something on her Facebook wall as she had published it for anyone to see (!) so that makes me a little cautious about what I saw.
Finally, it can be a great time to brush up on your interview technique. There are big changes in terms of interview styles and questions that have been inspired by the big US companies such as Apple and Google. This means preparing for the standard questions isn’t always enough – look out for those weird and wonderful variations.
Finding the job
Once you have done your preparation, you are ready to stand out from the crowd. Use job boards and other places around the internet to find the kind of jobs you want and start applying for them. if you aren’t ready to apply yet, start making contacts and keep records of the kid of jobs that match your ambitions and your skillsets.
New Year could even be the time to think about doing a little retraining if you want a change of direction. Many college courses that are shorter term do a fresh intake in January after the Christmas holidays and this can be a great time to prepare for that big change you want to take.
Keep at it
I know I am guilty of it and we probably all are – we build up for this job we have taken a liking to and set our hearts on it. But it is important that you don’t get disheartened if you’re unsuccessful – it may just mean it wasn’t the perfect job after all! Every time you get a ‘no’ then you are working towards that ‘yes’ down the line and you learn something – don’t forget to ask for feedback from the employer who said no to look at what you might need to alter next time around.