Artwork by: Daria Sukhanova
The arrival of the new year usually brings about a sense of renewal and optimism - this year more than most.
While feeling optimistic about the future is certainly worth celebrating, it only gets you so far. It’s up to you to capitalize on those good feelings and ensure you make 2021 the year you move forward.
We all know what it’s like to break a new year’s resolution. Many resolutions fail because they’re too broad or large-scale for people to put into action every day. It’s better to break your goal into smaller, more manageable and specific sub-resolutions that propel you forward.
So, if your New Year’s resolution for upcoming year is “find a job I love”, consider these sub-resolutions as your first steps:
Look at your internet habits - are you really getting productivity or even joy from how you spend your time online? Is scrolling through Twitter or Facebook helping you or hurting you?
Try auditing your internet usage and replacing wasted time with activities that will help you meet your goals - or will at least make you happy.
More specifically, try to schedule “productive online time” as part of your day. This might include LinkedIn research and networking, or finding training for new skills. You don’t have to get rid of your non-essential internet usage altogether. Just try cleaning and curating a bit.
For example, try going through your contacts/following list and removing the accounts that waste the most time for you. You can replace those accounts with leaders from your industry, companies you’re interested in, or just generally good sources of information.
While you’re at it, you might consider cleaning up your own online presence as well, to ensure it fits your professional brand. Reinventing yourself really helps you land your dream job.
A new year is a great time to assess your existing skill set, especially the ones we call “transferable skills.” Transferable skills are qualities or skills you have, like organizational skills or problem solving abilities, which are true and useful no matter what role you’re in.
But you may still notice some gaps in your knowledge. You may notice specific skills, technologies, or abilities listed on job descriptions that you just don’t have.
This is a good time to start thinking about professional development. Formal online courses and certifications are great, but even just familiarizing yourself with a subject through webinars or YouTube tutorials can go a long way.
If you can, find a personal project or volunteer role that can show off your new skills in a tangible manner. Your professional development will bolster your resume and show employers that you are committed to building and improving your skills.
We know, we’re constantly talking about networking, but that’s because it’s so important! Not only does effective networking build your chances of finding a “non-listed” job, but it also gives you a support system as you transition into a new role, even if you are an introvert.
But just increasing your LinkedIn numbers alone isn’t enough. You should be smarter and more targeted with your networking.
Instead of setting a resolution like “I want to have 150 more LinkedIn connections this year,” try goals like “I want to build relationships with at least five people in Company X”, or “I really want to increase my presence as an expert in the _____ industry.”
By focusing on networking quality, you can have more energy and time to focus on really building relationships - which will pay off in the long run. Read here how you can find and select the right recruiter for you.
You can’t spend all your time in the job-search grind. Volunteering and getting involved in local projects or organizations will help you reconnect with the things you value most. As a result, you’ll have a better understanding of what makes you happier at work.
If you’re struggling to understand your identity outside of work, then try putting yourself in a volunteer role that uses some of the same skills as your old job.
For example, if you worked in finance and accounting, there’s probably a church or organization in your community that could use some help managing their finances.
You can also volunteer in ways that test out and demonstrate the new skills you picked up from the resolution above.
Whatever you do, volunteering shows your passion for your community and your resolve to stay active. Both are very appealing to employers.
Identify someone that you can learn from, and forge a relationship with them. Ideally this is someone in your field who is a few years ahead of you - someone who you can see yourself in.
A mentor is someone who can be objective about your progress in a way that your friends and loved ones can’t. It’s important to seek out their advice and absorb as much of their knowledge as you can.
For more information on these resolutions, including how to actually enact them in practice, talk with your career coach and build yourself a smart and effective plan for the upcoming year.
Lotte van Rijswijk
An ambitious Content Team Lead working with Career.io since 2022, Lotte collaborates with all members of the team from writers to illustrators to ensure high-quality content across platforms. Always interested in finding new trends and topics to help improve offerings, she also oversees other team members and works to support them wherever possible.