Written by Kimberley Startup | January 16, 2014
January is often a time of year for reflection and change. For many people, this change can be related to their career.
Whether you’re looking at more senior positions within your company, changing locations or even moving to a new industry sector, the one thing that is essential is a good, solid plan.
A well-structured job searching plan is vital in helping you to achieve your goals. With that in mind, inspired by Careerhub, here are some valuable tips to help you make that all-important next step in your career:
What have you achieved over the past year? Have you learnt anything new?
When you’re unhappy or unfulfilled at work, it’s easy to just think negatively about your job. However, thinking positively and reflecting on any new skills or recently discovered strengths can really help you focus on what you want to be doing.
Make a list of at least five things that you’ve achieved over the past 12 months – and don’t forget to include them on your refreshed CV.
2. Looking forward
Now that you’ve taken stock of what you’ve achieved, start thinking about where you’d like to be this time next year.
Imagine the type of company you’d like to work for – or maybe you’d like to set up your own business. Think about the tasks that you’d love to be doing on a day-to-day basis and the things that frustrate you about your current role.
Most importantly, make sure that you write these points down; having a physical copy of your aims in front of you will keep you focused on what you’d like to be doing – and not doing – in your next job.
3. Set your goals
To start with, create no more than three small targets to achieve, with each one focusing on progressing yourself to where you want to be.
This could be setting an allocated period of time each week to search for jobs, taking an evening class to study for a relevant qualification or starting to compile a portfolio; as long as it’s relevant, it’s a step in the right direction.
If you’re not sure what you need to do to move into the area you want to be working, find a few adverts for jobs that appeal to you and check the essential requirements. If a particular skill, qualification or type of experience is required in more than one of the ads, it may be worth trying to attain it.
4. Monitor your progress
Setting yourself deadlines for each stage of your plan will keep you focused and will give you something to aim for. However, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet them; job hunting can be a stressful process and there’s no need to pile even more pressure on yourself.
Instead, at the end of each week or month, write down the progress you’ve made and what the next step is. And don’t worry if your ambitions change – just adjust your plan to match.
Taking the time to think about what you want to achieve and breaking it down into small steps is a fantastic way to achieve your end-goal; by this time next year, you’ll be amazed by what you’ve achieved.
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