Like most people I make new year’s resolutions, and like most people by the end of January they lie in ruins. The changes I so desired to make just a few weeks earlier have failed to materialise as I let myself slip back into old habits, consoling myself with the thought that I was being unrealistic with my plans in the first place. It doesn’t have to be this way. 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 cannot afford to be casual in the way you pursue it. You don’t want to be putting the same resolutions on next year’s list too.
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 2017 here are 9 things you can do:
- Set Goals– how can you progress your career without taking some time out to think about 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. Speak to people who are currently doing that job and find out how they got there.
- Update your CV – your CV needs to to be clear and easy to read. Hiring managers don’t have time to comb through your CV looking for the right information, they will just move on to the next CV. It is vital to have a well-structured CV that is fully to date. We have lots of CV tips and templates on www.collinsmcnicholas.ie
- Take on a project at work – this will allow you to gain experience, develop new skills, and give you an opportunity to impress your superiors. It may allow you to work across different offices and departments and gain exposure to other senior managers in your company. Should you decide to change jobs it will be a great point to make at interviews.
- Find a mentor – this is something that is normally best done on an informal basis but some organisations have put in place formal mentoring programmes to help develop talent within their organisations. It is great to have an experienced professional that can offer advice on how to progress your career and deal with certain situations in the workplace. You should always look to learn from people will more experience than you. There are always ways to get better at what you do.
- Take a course – doing 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.
- Update your LinkedIn profile – this should reflect your CV and there should be no discrepancies between your CV and your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you use all the functionality available within LinkedIn. Join relevant groups and make comments about topics you have an interest in. LinkedIn is an excellent tool for online networking but it is important to engage with LinkedIn on at least a weekly basis. Employers commonly use LinkedIn to find suitable job candidates. Build your network on LinkedIn – the more connections you have the more likely you are to be spotted by an employer.
- Network – networking is still best done face to face. Go to industry events or career fairs and use these events 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 organizations 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 a number of trusted recruiters – build relationships with a small number of professional recruiters. Meet with the recruiters in person, or at a minimum have a conversation with them over the phone. Blasting out large numbers of emails and not following up with the recruiters will not work.
Finally, 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.
Choosing to develop your career is the best resolution you can make. Happy job hunting in 2017!!
For further information on CV, interview and job searching tips check out: www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/jobseekers/
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group