The New Year gives all of us an opportunity for a do-over–and who doesn’t love a do-over? If 2017 wasn’t the best year for your career-wise, of if you’re planning a career or job change for 2018, the New Year is here to give you the opportunity to transform your job search.
It’s time to say goodbye to any resume mistakes, words you misspoke in an interview, or phone interviews that didn’t go well in 2017. If you’re leaving your current company, it’s time to move on to brighter and better things.
1. Prioritize your personal development
First things first: if you want to find your dream job, you need to make sure you understand what your dream job is. To do so, you need to spend a little time understanding what you like to do and how that fits in with your career goals.
If you’re looking for your dream job, I definitely recommend prioritizing your personal development in 2018,” says Laura Weldy, life coach at The Well Supported Woman. “Really pay attention to not just the careers that sound fun, but what about each role is interesting to you. The more self-aware you are the easier it will be to find a role that fulfills you.”
To achieve this step, Weldy suggests focusing on actionable personal goals, such as reading personal development podcasts or listening to creative-inspiring podcasts weekly.
“Resolutions of that type help to expand your world, and along with the expanded world come expanded opportunities,” says Weldy.
2. Set career-oriented resolutions for yourself
With the New Year ahead, it’s time to set resolutions for yourself. If you’re not normally the type to set resolutions, you should consider giving it a try this year to help you transform your job search. You don’t need to set personal goals if you don’t want to, but, rather, you should think about some of the mistakes you made in your job search last year–and use those to help you determine what you can and should do differently this year.
Make a short list of the top actionable things you think you can do better in your job search this year. Some resolutions might be: attend at least one networking event each month until you land your dream job; work with a resume writer or mentor to re-vamp your resume; research your salary so you can identify your worth and earn what you truly deserve; or expand your professional network and determine if you know anyone who works at your dream company.
3. Do your research
One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make during the job search is going into it blindly. If you have no idea what kind of jobs are available in your city, or how much money people earn in the position you are hoping to land, you might be setting yourself up to be let down.
Instead of doing the same-old, same-old for your job hunt process, consider transforming the way you approach looking for a job by doing your research ahead of time.
Make a list of the companies you know about and would love to work for. Then, research companies with a similar mission or product to expand your options of working in the industry. You should also research the companies you are interested ahead of time to make sure it still sounds like a place you would even want to work at. Moreover, there’s no point in applying to a job that you know is not going to pay you fairly–so make sure you Know Your Worth and only apply to positions that will value your experience.
4. Find a mentor
If you struggled in your job search last year, or if you’re nervous about the big career leaps you plan to take in 2018, it’s important to know you don’t have to go through this process alone. If you’re having trouble sticking to the goals you set for yourself, you might need a hand from someone who either understands how you operate, or is professionally trained to motivate you out of a rut.
“This is when working with a professional life coach comes in handy,” says Weldy. “A life coach is essentially a project manager for the creation of your fullest, best life – they exist to help you clarify what you want to create, hold you accountable to those goals regularly, and assist you in dissecting any blocks to your success that get in the way.”
A mentor can come in the form of a life coach, career coach, friend, family member, or even your current manager. If you have previously done your job search completely on your own, the biggest change you could make this year could be just asking someone to help you!
5. Understand what a dream job looks like
Speaking of bringing others into your job search–have you ever spent time at your friends or family members’ place of work? If you know someone who absolutely loves what they do–and especially if you know someone who works at your dream company–consider asking if you can visit them at work.
If the job search has you down or you’re worried that you’ll never find your dream job, maybe you need a little inspiration to help you revolutionize your process. By going to see someone you know work in a healthy, friendly environment and seeing how they are both treated by their co-workers, and how passionate they are to show you what they do for a living, you’ll gain a better understanding of what it means to have a job you truly love.
And once you know what it looks like to have your dream job–you won’t stop until you get it!
6. Allow yourself to take a break
Looking for a job is stressful. It’s easy to get bogged down by having to re-write your resume or constantly write cover letters–and when you never hear back from anyone, it can drive you a little insane.
But, the problem job seekers make is that they spend all their time looking for a job and never take a break from the search. We understand that you don’t want to waste any time because you need to pay your bills–but if you don’t take a moment to de-stress and breathe, you’re only making the process that much harder for yourself.
When you feel you are reaching a high-stress point in your job search, take a day or two off. And I mean really take the day off–if you can afford to take a short trip, do so. If you are low on funds, simply relax at home (away from computer screens) or go for a walk around your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised at how refreshing taking even just one day away from the actual search will help you re-set and re-prioritize your process.
7. Have fun
It might not sound like fun, but there are ways to make your job process enjoyable! You don’t have to be miserable while you do this–in fact, approaching your job search in that mindset is probably hurting your applications because it’s hindering your passion from shining through.
“I would encourage you to have fun with this process, and not to take it too seriously,” advises Weldy. “It’s important to have goals and resolutions, because they tell us where to focus our attention in a world that’s full of distractions. Some of them will change over time, and that’s part of our development as individuals.”
8. Set clear intentions
Lastly, the best thing you can do for yourself to revolutionize your job search is to make sure you are setting clear intentions for yourself. Remember: you are on your side with this, so you don’t need to be too hard on yourself, and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.
“The beauty is in the learning and growing that comes from setting clear intentions and overcoming our own obstacles,” says Weldy. “Even if the goal isn’t completed at the end of 2018, you’ll feel proud of the progress you’ve made in that direction – but if you set no goals or resolutions, it’s harder to know which direction you’re headed!”
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