New Year’s Resolutions for Job Hunters

Posted by Kurt Rakos on 12/23/19 1:30 PM
Kurt Rakos
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5 Steps You can Take Now to Land a New Job in 2020

December is almost over.  Have you been staring at the calendar, wondering where 2019 – and all your dreams of a new job – went?  Well, stop drowning your sorrows in leftover eggnog and take heart! Right now is the perfect time for your 2020 job search.

Here are 5 simple steps you can (and should) take now to make 2020 The Year of the New Job.

Network in Baby Steps

If you’re feeling disheartened by your job search, the best place to start is taking an honest look at your networking activities (or lack thereof).  If you’re intimidated by the prospect of networking, start small and build skills by building on your successes.  This week, email or text 3-7 friends, family members or acquaintances whom you can trust to be supportive. Don’t agonize over drafting something fancy.  Just get it written and sent.  Something like the following ought to do it.  “I’m starting (or ramping up) my job search in earnest. One area where I know I need practice is in networking.  I’d like to get more comfortable having conversations about my career goals and job experience.  Before I practice networking with virtual strangers, any chance I could buy you a cup of coffee and practice with you?”  Do not go into these coffee dates without notes, a willingness to practice, and an openness to feedback. Without those, you’re just socializing.  And your job hunt will still be stuck in the mud.  After you’ve gotten your feet wet with these casual, friendly conversations, set your sights a little further.  Join a professional organization, attend their gatherings.  Share your hopes, dreams and qualifications with more people.  From there, keep branching out.  Keep expanding your list (and by list, I mean an actual list) of friends, colleagues, acquaintances whom you will contact – and with whom you will remain in contact.

It’s the Holidays!  You should be partying

It’s a party, not a job fair.  Career networking at holiday parties is a delicate dance.  Don’t shove your business card in everyone’s drink hand.  But don’t avoid the topic, either.  Introduce yourself.  Ask sincere questions of others.  Listen to their responses.  Share something about yourself.  This is where you will use all of those conversation starters you practiced with your trusted friends.  “I’ve been in packaged goods marketing for several years and I’m planning to make a career move in 2020.”  Don’t say it like you’re desperate.  Say it because you’re sharing a little information about who you are and what you’re interested in doing.  Never push the conversation further.  People who are interested, will ask you more.  People who aren’t, will shift the subject to something that interests them.  The party will go on.

Send New Years Cards
Whether or not you send them to friends and relatives, you should be sending a certain kind of holiday card to at least ten people related to your job search.  These are the folks you appreciate for their support of career so far and those individuals to whom you will need to turn for job-hunting help in the coming year.  The most important thing to remember as you write these notes is conveying sincere thanks.  (If you can’t think of one solid thing for which to thank a person, don’t send the card.)  Let each person know how much their wisdom (or kindness, or willingness to connect you with others, or advice, etc.) is helpful to you.  Restate your goals and say that you hope to stay in touch. AGet that thing in the mail before New Year’s eve.

Volunteer your time to a cause that is truly meaningful to you

Note that I didn’t say “meaningful to your career.”  Why?  Because rolling your sleeves up and truly giving your heart, soul and energy to something is one of the most important things you can do, job search or not.  But here’s another reason:  it’s an opportunity to check in with your own values.  After spending some time on what matters the most, you might just tweak your career goals to better suit your deepest values.  That’s a good thing.

Enjoy the Holidays

Yes.  Above all else, be present for yourself, your family and all you hold dear.  They – and you – deserve it.


 

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Topics: For Job Seekers