It’s beginning to feel a lot like post-Christmas. Too much food, wine and a credit card with a strip that’s wearing out from overuse. All culminating in that night of nights when we make loads of ambitious resolutions and by February have forgotten all of them. Sound familiar? Here’s some advice on how to make at least one of them stick. If you are keen to find a new job for 2013, or move up the corporate ladder, then you should follow these five steps in order to achieve that goal.
1. Write it down
Write down in detail exactly what you are looking for in terms of a new job or promotion. This ensures you are not bogged down in applying for everything and anything in your industry. Think about what you enjoy now and the skills you want to develop further. Be specific, for example – I would like an external sales role specifically which looks after existing clients, travelling regularly within my state (but not overseas) and promoting a service that I would be proud of within the road transport sector. Then visualise yourself doing this job, how you will feel and what unique advantages you will bring to the role. This helps at the interview stage. Write all this down positively – what you want to do, not what you want to leave behind. This simple act of writing down your goal starts you on the road to achievement.
2. Share them
Now I don’t mean with everyone you know via Facebook and Twitter. Firstly that will open you up for some negative feedback from one of those ‘friends’ who secretly enjoys seeing others fail. Secondly, this will probably find its way back to your boss and you may find yourself needing to fast track your goal due to no longer having a job! Share your career goals with someone you trust and who will hold you accountable – and allow them to provide you critical feedback without becoming defensive, so choose carefully and remember you asked them for their help.
3. Be specific
Break down your goal into several smaller steps which you need to achieve to reach the end goal. Exactly what you need to do to get what you want and when you will do it by. So if you would like a team manager role by May 2013, you will need to review your resume to ensure it is geared towards those roles, decide if you need to undertake any further training, gather your work examples and referees and commence your job hunt by setting up job alerts on the relevant web sites.
4. Review regularly
Review daily or weekly depending on the end date you have set yourself. Tweak your goals where needed. A few weeks in, you may realise that there is very little need for your ‘dream’ role so you may need to rethink your original plan. However, keep focused and review any changes against your original plan (you don’t want to end up back in the same rut again). Ensure you remove any distractions – real or created – and continue to track your progress so you can reward yourself for small steps along the way.
5. Be realistic
Look, if you really want to be the next judge on The Voice, then I’m sure if you’ve got a few million downloads of your new hit song you might have a chance. For the rest of us, ensure that when you set your new job goal that it’s potentially achievable. If it’s too large or too much of a leap, then I’m sorry to say that you just won’t get there.
Don’t set your sights too low either, as it needs to be something to stretch yourself – that way when you achieve it, you will genuinely feel rewarded. Make sure you have the time allocated to conduct your search (you need to allow yourself time after hours if you are still working) and honestly assess if you have the correct attributes. Search people via the types of job roles you aspire to on LinkedIn and review their CVs and identify any gaps that you may need to fill. Mostly you need to believe in your proposed new career. Moving jobs for a couple of extra dollars won’t cut it long term; motivation and desire to come to work are the key drivers for success.
Now is the time, the blackberry is turned off (or at least not beeping every minute), the morning alarm is non-existent, and afternoon naps are standard practice. Use this downtime to reflect on what you have done this year and what you can change in order to achieve that next step in your career. No doubt you’ll be active on social media platforms, so use that time to connect with former colleagues and to network. Make sure you send holiday greetings to your past managers, remember they are the people who will be your referees in the future.
2013 doesn’t have to be yet another year when your drunken resolutions have all fallen through before the end of January. Follow this simple advice and you will be on track to fulfilling your ambitions of a promotion or a step closer to that dream job.
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Kathie Kelly is the National Manager – Recruitment Solutions of BUSY At Work an organisation which provides workforce planning and recruitment services to businesses throughout Queensland and Australia.
Kathie is also a travel junkie, has a keen appreciation for music, dance and live theatre, along with being a mad rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly
top image: Spencer Finnley