Now that spring is with us (in the southern hemisphere) and you might be starting to think about the summer and new year’s vacation plans, it is also a good time think about the year ahead and your career plans and objectives. If you are looking for a new job for 2014, it is an excellent time to start your prep work in finding that ideal job or perhaps you are contemplating making a career change and switching career fields completely next year.
The good news is that the world economy appears to be doing better and if all goes well, hopefully the job market and hiring will also pickup in the months to come. During the past few years and economic downturn, companies have done all they can to increase productivity with a leaner workforce. If the global economy continues to show improvement, companies will need to start hiring in order to keep up with demand spurred by the new business investments and expansion.
Here are some tips and advise to assist you in your new job search or career change.
Take some time to get yourself organized, take a deep breathe and ask yourself exactly what you want in your new job or career. Be honest and ask yourself the following questions:
What am i looking for? Take an honest look at yourself and think about the types of employers, industries, career fields and jobs you contemplating to target. When answering this question, remember to take into account factors like location and family commitments. You might be at the stage of life where you would prefer to work from home full time or part of the time and spend , for example. Be aware that until such that you can define and describe the perfect job or career that you are looking for, nobody can assist you in finding that job or hire you to fill it.
What are the financial implication of a new job or career change? Whether your are searching for a new job with higher salary, thinking about semi-retirement, or looking to work form home; you need to think about the what effect a new job or career change will have on your finances, obligations and responsibilities.
Will you need additional training prior to searching for a new job or career change? It is possible that you have been working for many years and missing a few key skills or certifications for the current job market that would significantly improve your marketability. If this is the case, you should think about going back to school and continuing with your education with a few courses to upgrade your current skills. Even if you are unable to complete a course or certification by the time your start looking for a job, at least you will be able to say in the job interview your are currently enrolled.
The next step is to go through your little black book and update all your contacts information and prepare your career marketing material. This is the time to work on your networking and start your search for potential employers you intend on targeting.
Without a doubt the most powerful tool you have in your job quest is your contacts, friends and family given the fact that a referral is the best accreditation you can get when looking for a job.
Like most people, your contact information is most likely in a number of different places ranging from business cards, personal email address book, social media networks, or old work files. Consolidate and organize your information into one place to make it easily accessible.
Most likely recruiters or hiring managers who show an interest in you and your resume will immediately go to the world wide web and do a search for your name. So prepare yourself and do a personal search on Google and update any information that you thinks needs to be updated or removed. If you have a professional profile on Linkedin, for example, it would be a good idea to update your profile and participating in online forums and blog that are related to your industry and career field. You don’t want your online presence to appear to be outdated to the person looking to fill a specific position.
Take the time to update your resume and make sure that your recent accomplishments are added to your resume. There are numerous website and blogs on the internet that can offer advise and tips to update your resume to make sure it is ‘fresh’.
Think about joining one or two networking groups in order to make yourself known. Don’t just attend the monthly dinner or function, but rather make meaningful connection and volunteer for one of the group;s committees or offer your time to asset at an event. You can also attend job fairs in your area to get a better idea of the companies who are hiring and understand what they are looking for.
Track news and events of the potential places your would like to work at. Create Google alerts for these potential employers and keep track of opening or news of business expansion plans. You can create alerts for companies, nonprofit organizations, as well key executives. Alerts will also keep you up to date about market trends.
You might think that the end of year holiday season is a bad time to search for a job. Research has shown that many recruiters find placements for numerous employees over the holiday season. It is a time when hiring managers have more time to focus on resumes that have been sitting on their desk and not have to deal with their daily functions and duties.
Holiday season is a good time to arrange meeting up with your contacts who might know of leads. In general, businesses go into a slow down mode over the holiday season, so this might be a good time to arrange to meet your contacts for a cup of coffee or lunch.
Sending our holiday greetings is also another way to reconnect with old friends and colleagues but don’t mention that you are searching for work. This can help to make sure that your contact details are up to date current and they can easily contact you after the holidays.