As we begin a new year, it’s time to make our resolutions a reality. As part of 2015’s resolutions, many people are setting their sights on finding a new job. Whatever your reasons – higher pay, promotions, or better work-life balance – for wanting to make a switch in 2015, here are a few tips to help you set your job search goals.
1. Ask yourself what you want.
Do you know why you’re looking for a new job? Now is the time to identify what you want in a position that you don’t already have. Are you wanting more time off? If so, how much more do you want? If it’s more money, what salary is ideal? Do you want to learn something new? By answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to direct your focus.
2. Identify your skills.
It’s time to list out your skills and qualifications. As you continue to work, you’re acquiring more skills. Take an inventory of what you’re good at and areas where you want to make improvements. After identifying your skills, update your resume and cover letter to reflect your top traits that will help move you in the direction you want to go.
3. Do your research.
You don’t want to apply for every available job out there because doing so may be a waste of your time and energy. Instead, focus your attention on the companies you admire and look at what jobs they have available that seem interesting to you. By reining in your search, it allows you to tailor your resume and cover letter to each organization.
4. Network, network, network.
Networking is key to finding a new job. As the old saying goes, sometimes “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Your current connections and friends are a wealth of information. They may know a friend who works at a certain company that has a job you’d be perfect for, and it may be a company you would have never thought of before! Utilize your current connections, but also make it a point to meet new people. Look to join professional groups in your industry. They usually hold networking meetings once a month where people catch up or share about job opportunities.
5. Visit a career coach or staffing agency.
Just like networking, it never hurts to meet with a person who can help you find a job. You can give them a copy of your resume and let them know what you’re interested in. Then, they can give you feedback not only on your resume and cover letter, but also offer advice on interview skills. In addition, a staffing agency has many businesses as clients and can keep you in mind if one of them has an opening that meets your skills.
6. Stay positive.
Know that any job search may not turn up many leads or a new job right away. Sometimes it can happen quickly and sometimes it can take upwards of six months to find the perfect match. Don’t get discouraged. Every networking opportunity and job interview gets you closer to where you want to be and closer to a yes!
7. Plan for your retirement.
Although your goal may be to just find a new job, don’t forget about your plans for retirement. Let’s be honest – the ultimate goal is to not work forever. During your hunt, remember to keep your finances in check, saving money aside for your retirement. Also, as you interview, be sure to ask about the company’s retirement plans and what benefits they provide, such as 401(k) matching.
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