At some point, we’ve all broken a New Year’s resolution. We didn’t learn that new language, regularly work out, or eliminate trans fats from our diets. We fell short, but that didn’t terminate our goals. New chances come with a new year and anyone who has resolved to get a new job in 2015 can triumph with these tips.
Before you start a trip, you need a destination. Vague wanderings can only get you so far. To say “I want a new job” is like saying “I’m going to travel west.” Your New Year’s resolution might get you a job, but will it be at a place you’ll want to remain?
Seriously consider your current job. Odds are it isn’t completely abhorrent. If you’re looking elsewhere, you already know the aspects of your job you’d like to shed like a snake sloughs off old skin. However, it’s just as important to linger on the aspects you’d want to carry over into your next job. Think:
- What day-to-day projects do you value most?
- Are you looking for a similar team environment?
- Are you accustomed to the flexibility of your schedule?
- Are certain benefits a future necessity?
Internalize all of that, and it’ll keep you from wasting time on jobs that won’t satisfy you. It may be tempting to take your first offer, but you shouldn’t sacrifice long-term happiness to simply escape a boring or low-paying job.
Make it a routine
One of the greatest obstacles for New Year’s resolutions is a lack of structure. That’s clear when you see someone’s specified goal without a regiment for getting there.
Your job search needs to become routine. It needs the regularity that a schedule provides. First, evaluate when you are most productive. Are you an early bird or night owl? Successful people find their sweet spot and build a schedule around it.
Handle the more demanding tasks (face-to-face networking and resume writing) when you’re most alert. Less intensive activities (checking job boards and researching the company) should be saved for your down time.
Prepare for bumps in the road
No plan is executed without a little opposition. A successful New Year’s resolution anticipates the worst and has a contingency plan.
There are thousands of life obligations that can interrupt your routine if you let them. What does that look like in real life? Here are a few scenarios:
Maybe your boss habitually asks you to stay late or come in early. Instead of shouldering the burden, say no (without saying no) to your boss.
Maybe your kids need to be picked up from extracurricular activities. Instead, arrange for someone else to grab your kids while you’re searching.
Do whatever it takes to minimize any possible distractions.
At some point, you’ll probably fall short of your routine. It happens to everyone. However, you shouldn’t allow that to completely unhinge your plans. Get back on the wagon as quickly as you can. Update your routine. Reach out to others in your network to help you. And remember, be willing to take action until your goals are met.
by James Walsh