It’s January and most people’s thoughts are on the things they want to change in their lives in the New Year. One of the biggest alterations a person can make is taking a new direction in their career so, every year, “finding the dream job” is usually high up on many people’s New Year’s resolutions list.
However, by the end of January, many of the changes that were so urgent and important at the end of December, have gone by the wayside as we slip back into the comfort of our old workplace and familiar routine.
Moving jobs or changing careers can be a scary prospect and sometimes people think that it is easier for them to stay where they are — even if they are unhappy — rather than make a fresh start.
But there is no reason why landing your dream job cannot become a reality for you in 2018.
What you need is a plan; a roadmap that will give you the structure you need to stay disciplined in pursuit of your goals.
If your New Year’s resolution is to progress your career, you can’t afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. Most people think that all they have to do is update their CV, send it out to a few agencies, and sit back and wait for the job offers to come in. They are wrong. If you are serious about developing your career in 2018, here are 10 things you can do to make it a reality:
- Set your goal. You can’t progress your career if you don’t know what you want to do. Decide where you want to be in five years and figure out what you need to do to make it happen.
- Give your CV a facelift. Your CV needs to be clear, easy to read, well-structured and up to date. Hiring managers don’t have time to comb through your CV looking for the right information, they will just move on to the next one. We have lots of CV tips and templates on collinsmcnicholas.ie
- Use your current role to progress. Taking on a new project at your current job will allow you to gain experience and develop new skills. Should you decide to change jobs it will be a great point to make at interviews.
- Find a mentor. This can be done informally or through formal mentoring programmes. It is great to have an experienced professional offer advice on how to progress your career and deal with certain situations in the workplace. You should always look to learn from people with more experience than you. There are always ways to get better at what you do.
- Upskill yourself. Taking a course shows your commitment to lifelong learning and personal development and is always a strong point to make at an interview. It will also give you useful new skills.
- Get smart on social. Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your CV and make sure there are no discrepancies between the two. Use all the functionality available within LinkedIn, join relevant groups, build your connections and make comments about topics that interest you. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for online networking as employers commonly use LinkedIn to find suitable job candidates but it is important to engage at least on a weekly basis.
- Build a network. Networking is still best done face-to-face. Go to industry events or career fairs to build your network and meet new people. Bring plenty of business cards and make sure you follow up afterwards. You never know when you will make that crucial connection that will lead to a great career opportunity so take every chance you can get to meet professionals in your industry.
- Research the market. Look at the activity of other companies in your industry to see how your skills and experience match their strategy. Could they be organisations to target? Monitor the IDA and Enterprise Ireland websites regularly to keep up to date on companies that are setting up or expanding in Ireland.
- Build good relationships with recruiters. Build relationships with a small number of trusted, professional recruiters. Meet with the recruiters in person, or at least have a conversation with them over the phone. Blasting out large numbers of emails and not following up with the recruiters will not work.
- Measure your progress. Set aside some time each week to review how your job search is going, check the various websites and review what is working. Your plan should be constantly evolving as you go.
Happy job hunting in 2018!!
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group