As Winter sets in and the Christmas season approaches we have all long forgotten those resolutions we set ourselves back in January. We justify the abandonment of those plans by telling ourselves that I will start again next January; “I’ll be back in the gym in January”, “I’m going to take up that course in January”, “I’m going to give the job search serious thought in January”. So many plans for January! But how much of those plans do we really follow up on?
Before the talk of Christmas jumpers and shopping seriously takes hold, why not set aside some time to dust down the CV and take a serious look at career goals for 2016. By setting the wheels in motion now you will have done all the heavy lifting and put yourself ahead of the pack come January 2016 just when others are only starting to think about a career change.
Like any project or task, we always convince ourselves that it will take more time than it actually does and I will put it off until next weekend once I get this week out of the way. The answer to that little problem is to break the plan down into little steps that we can achieve each week. First of all, start with setting career goals, take a blank sheet and start writing about where you want your career to go and what your life will look like in 12 months’ time. What type of roles are you interested in? What time of companies would you like to work for? Are there any courses that could benefit your career?
Next up is to update or write your CV. There is plenty of advice and templates available on the internet – you don’t need to pay somebody to do this. Presentation is key and keeps the language clear and concise. Third on our list is to create/update your LinkedIn profile so that you are attracting the notice of potential employers or recruiters. Make sure your profile is complete and it contains any interesting projects that you have recently completed. Once this is done don’t abandon the account, you need to keep using and refreshing it. Follow companies and individuals who are of interest to you so you are aware of potential vacancies in your field.
Networking is next on our list and this is something that we do every day without realising it. Conversing and communicating with our colleagues, family and social network. Go through your contacts list and refresh those old relationships with ex-colleagues, find out where they are working and if there are opportunities available. Speak to old classmates, lecturers, ex-teammates and ask for advice. You would be surprised what you can find out about the jobs market by just talking to the person next to you.
Research recruitment companies in your area of expertise and ask friends for referrals. Find an agency that specialises in your area and understands what you are looking for. Registering with 2-3 agencies is plenty; remember you want to retain control of where your search is going.
Finally, ask a peer to act as a supervisor for your search. Agree on deadlines with them for all of the actions above so that you have somebody keeping check on your progress and making sure that you are not pushing the job search off to another resolution for next January.
Advice on starting a job search, writing a CV and preparing for an interview can be found at https://www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/jobseekers/
Best of Luck!
Collins McNicholas Cork