Turning resolutions into reality

9 months ago Graham Peck

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​Five simple tips for nailing your new year’s career resolutions 

Breaking new year’s resolutions has become almost as much of a cliché as making them in the first place. Among these perennial promises: finding a new job. After starting the new year determined to make a change, however, too many people quickly settle back into their old routine, citing excuses such as “I’m too busy to look for anything.” “No one’s hiring in January.” “I had a good rest over Christmas, so maybe it’s not that bad after all.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five easy tips for keeping your new year’s career resolutions.

Define your career goals

Think about what you actually want from your next role. Are you after greater seniority, new skills or higher pay? Or do you just need to recharge your career after growing stagnant in your current role? Decide what kind of job will give you the things you crave and plan what you need to do to get there. What areas do you need to develop in order to qualify for the role? What new skills do you need? Once you know what you’re after, you can put together a realistic plan for achieving it.

Stay up to date 

Think about everything you’ve learnt and achieved over the last year. Have you taken on any new responsibilities, picked up any new skills, learnt any new systems or software, received any training? Update your CV and LinkedIn profile, so that any recruiters (or hiring managers) who stumble across you can get an accurate picture of your capabilities.

Spread the word

One of your new year’s resolutions might be to see more of your friends or to reconnect with people you haven’t seen for a long time. Use the new year as an opportunity to ask friends and former colleagues whether there are any opportunities at their workplace, or whether they know anyone who’s looking to hire. Your network is a vital tool when it comes to job hunting.

Ask for help

As with any new year’s resolution – whether it’s cutting down on fatty foods or sticking to a regular exercise plan – it helps having support to keep you on the straight and narrow. Find out if any of your friends are looking to change jobs and make sure you help each other through the process. You’ll also find it helpful to partner with an expert recruiter, who can advise you on what kind of roles are available in the market and how you need to strengthen your CV in order to be attractive to prospective employers.

Be realistic

Don’t make over-ambitious, general or meaningless promises. The bigger and more abstract a resolution is, the more unattainable it feels and the less likely you are to keep it. Also, ambition’s a good thing, but don’t expect to jump straight from part-qualified accountant to CFO in the space of a few months. Set yourself a realistic target for where you want to be at the end of the year, and decide on your most appropriate next step. Putting all the right building blocks in place will eventually allow you to reach the heights that you’re striving for.

If you need more advice on how to keep your new year’s career resolutions or you want to discuss taking the next steps towards your ideal job, speak to one of our experts. We can’t keep your promises for you, but we can certainly set you on your way.