‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that. It’s also a great time to really evaluate your career. December can be a period of downtime so why not use the 12 Days of Christmas for an annual check-in, to reflect on what you’ve done over the past year and work out where you want to be in 2019.
That way you can enter the New Year ready for any opportunity that might cross your path.
Day 1: Reflect on where you are right now
Take some time to think about where your career has taken you so far and where your future ambitions lie. Are you happy with the industry you’re in? Can you see career progression in your current role? If you’re not completely happy, make a list of what the biggest bugbears are. Is it the money? Your colleagues? The job itself?
Day 2: Research opportunities
Even if you feel comfortable in your current role, it’s always a good idea to see what other opportunities are out there. It’s useful to have an idea of what types of roles are currently being advertised, how much they’re paying, and what new skills are required in your industry.
Day 3: Identify skills gaps
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s bound to face digital disruption in the near future. It’s a good idea to be continuously addressing any skills gaps your have – particularly in the digital space as this is becoming more and more important to employers.
Day 4: Investigate training opportunities
Learning is life-long and if you have gaps in your knowledge or skillset it might be time to look for training to fill these gaps. It doesn’t have to be anything as drastic as a degree, it could be an online webinar or a conference. Explore your options and speak to HR to see whether they can help with any learning you hope to achieve in the year ahead.
Day 5: Update your career plan
A written career plan helps you get ahead. It’s where you set out your goals for the upcoming year. A great way to kick-start this process and actually stick to doing something about it is to write down three goals you hope to achieve in 2019. You could aim for a salary goal, a learning goal and a task-focused goal.
Day 6: Collect credentials and documentation
It’s always handy to have things to back up your achievements. This can include confirmation of qualifications, references from previous employers, endorsements from clients, examples of great work, or whatever works in your industry.
Day 7: Revamp your CV
Update your CV to highlight your latest achievements and ensure your career history doesn’t have any gaps. Take the time to proof-read it with a fresh pair of eyes and make sure it really sells yourself to potential future employers.
Day 8: Update your cover letter
While updating your CV, you may as well write yourself a new cover letter that you can use as a template when you next apply for a job. It can then be tailored to each position you apply for in the future.
Day 9: Update your LinkedIn Profile
Another place to update is your LinkedIn profile. Employers and recruiters search online profiles looking for potential candidates. If your profile is up-to-date you’ll attract more interest and be more likely to be approached. There’s no harm in being noticed by recruiters and employers even if you’re not in the market for a job right now.
Day 10: Social media makeover
With your updated LinkedIn profile up-to-date, it’s a good idea to have a complete social media makeover. Start by Googling yourself- images and search results – to see what crops up. Make a note of everywhere you appear and if you don’t like something that shows up – make it a priority to get it removed. Potential employers are likely to Google you, so make sure anything they find is portraying the image you want it to.
Day 11: Nurture your network.
Find and reconnect with old colleagues and new acquaintances on LinkedIn. Opportunities can arise from the most unusual of places, and you never know who might hold the key to something that could propel your career to the next level.
Day 12: Sign up with a recruitment agency
If you’re considering a career change in the New Year, get yourself on the books with a recruitment agency. You’ll be first in line for anything that meets your career goals and you will gain valuable insights to help you take that next big step.
We can help you meet your career goals so that you enter the New Year with job satisfaction. Take a look at our list of job vacancies or give the friendly team at Ambitions a call on 614841.