Posted on 27/01/2016 by Charlene Bennett
We’re well and truly into this new year, and it’s rapidly moving along whether we like it or not! If you’re anything like us you’ve already written enough emails to fill a novel and sat staring at a monitor or sat in commuter traffic longer than you’d like.
It’s always good practice to steal a bit of time for yourself every so often and focus on where you are in life and where you’d like to be. Regardless of whether your job status is employed or unemployed, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of focussing on your career for the year ahead (and beyond).
Grab a pad and pencil and take some time out in a place where you can concentrate and feel clear, focused, and organized. Do this ASAP if you’re actively job hunting as this is an especially good time to apply for a new job!
Here’s a list of 12 career-enhancing action steps…
1. Reorganise your workspace
Remove clutter and add inspiration. Clean your inbox and delete old emails and archive others. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that waste your time. Make a vision board or write a career manifesto and hang it above your desk.
2. Achieve a healthier sleep pattern
Many people are sleep deprived, and being constantly tired is not conducive to producing good work. The more rest you give yourself, the sharper and more productive you will be.
3. Update your work wardrobe
If you need some style inspiration then there are a multitude of online sites to inspire. Make sure to purchase items that are both professional and industry-appropriate.
4. Improve your LinkedIn presence
Add a personal note when you send out invitations to join your network. Most people don’t do this, so it’ll really make you stand out and get noticed. Consistently reach out to people you’d like to connect with and start a conversation if necessary (keep it professional and appropriate). Have a read through our blog post 'How to maximise your LinkedIn profile' for more tips.
5. Google yourself
Negative social media content? Inappropriate blog comments? A YouTube video that doesn’t perhaps show you in best light? See yourself from an employers point of view, and make sure your online footprint makes a good first impression. For some extra info on the subject read our blog post about 'Personal branding in the social world'.
6. Write down your recent achievements
Make a list of your top achievements from the past year. You can incorporate these ‘wins’ into your CV the next time you spruce it up — employers love seeing descriptions of ‘achievements’ alongside duties.
7. Create a perfect CV
Read our blog posts 'How to write a great CV', 'What an employer is looking for in your CV' and 'How much information on your CV is too much?' These tips will help get you closer to getting that job you want. Amend your CV or don’t be afraid to start over from scratch instead of building on one you’ve had for years.
8. Learn how to answer the most common interview questions
Your CV’s only doing the first part of the talking. The interview process is hugely important and not one that you can risk blowing. Prepare in advance by running through some common questions and you’ll likely ace it. Here's some useful advice from our blog posts 'CV & Interview hints and tips' , 'What NOT to do in your interview' and '13 interview secrets for introverts'.
9. Improve your skills
It could be public speaking, time management, or creative writing. Sign up for a class, seminar, weekly writing group, whatever makes sense for you and whatever might get you motivated. Then decide how you’re going to develop that skill. Add the time to your calendar right now!
10. Read a few career-boosting classics
Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. More of a listener? Choose the audio books or subscribe to some smart podcasts.
11. Fuel your inspiration tank
Visit somewhere grand and majestic. Look at some beautiful artwork. Read some inspirational literature or quotes that’ll make you feel ready to take on the world (or at least your personal goals).
12. Write your plan!
Whether you’re looking to make a career move or are currently satisfied with your job, figure out what you plan to do to take your career to the next level. Maybe it’s telling your network you’re looking to make a move. Or, perhaps it’s getting a promotion (and a raise!). Whatever it is, figure out how you’re going to make it happen.
NOW is always the right time to take the first step to improve your career. Get in touch with us if you'd like any help or guidance with you next career step and make sure to regularly check our job search to keep updated on all our fantastic employment opportunities.