It's the first week of January and now is the time start the search for your new job. Don't waste any time before putting your News Year's career resolution into action. Actually, organizations' Q1 hiring process is usually underway by the time the Thanksgiving leftovers are finished. This is an ideal time to prepare for job interviews and fill out applications, says Rachel Polhemus, senior partner at WK Advisors, a division of executive search firm Witt/Kieffer that offers mid-level executive search consulting services.
"To get ahead of the competition, start planning for your next position. Take this time to reflect on your achievements, set career goals, buff up resumes, and network with family, friends, and other acquaintances," Polhemus says.
Resolve to Start Fresh in the New Year
The start of the calendar year is a perfect time to take stock and get organized for a fresh start. Be reflective and thoughtful about the achievements of the previous year and your goals for the next, and use those to launch a new job search or to reinvigorate an ongoing search. "This time of year is a great time to put together an action plan for landing new job opportunities. Make note of what you've achieved and how to present that in the best light," Polhemus says.
Time Management Is Key
A lot of this is about time management, according to Polhemus, who says, "Focus on time management. Carve out an hour or so each day to do research, work on your resume, do research and online networking. While most resolutions fizzle sometime around the end of January, approach your job search like you do going to the gym; set aside chunks of time each week to devote to this activity.
A great place to start is to honestly take stock of your situation. Create a list, benchmark your skills and then sum up any new knowledge or skills you acquired over the previous year. Add any courses you've taken or major projects completed. With list in hand find a way to succinctly communicate these items and refresh your resume.
Network, Network, Network
While you don't want to spend every moment gathering networking and job-hunting, do make sure you're taking advantage of these situations if work-related conversations arise, notes career consultant, job search expert, author and speaker Rick Gillis. "We often don't realize who our family members know and who they're connected to. Uncle Bob knows a guy with connections in the IT department at that major firm you'd love to work at? Great — leverage that connection. You never know unless you ask, so make sure your family and friends know that you're seeing."
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