Now is the time to reflect on your career. Set goals, plug your skill gaps and prepare for New Year applications.
Make the most of the festive break to prepare New Year applications
Recruitment may not be as active this side of Christmas with the main focus being prepared for the big day however it will kick off quite quickly in the New Year, so use this time to get ready – brush up that CV and LinkedIn profile.
It’s a great time to reflect on next steps and research – also a perfect time to review your CV and LinkedIn – making sure they are ready for the January recruitment rush.
Use the Christmas season to network
Another perk of the winter holidays are the Christmas parties. Christmas is a great time for networking, so get yourself out and about with professional contacts or friends you haven’t seen for a while. You never know if they might have some ideas or introductions for you that can help.
Chatting to friends and contacts at work dos can turn up interesting information, and so it’s good to keep your ears open at all times.
Though it’s not just work contacts – family and friends may be able to help too. Aside from searching, this time can also be used to reconnect with your networks. Never underestimate the part they can play in helping you identify a new opportunity.
Make a plan for 2018 – and stick to it
Research has shown the most important thing to do over the winter break is to make a plan for 2018 and stick to it. You need to know where you want your career to go next. Research your dream job, environment or industry and get excited about a change.
Should you decide on an enormous life-changing shift, break the move down into manageable pieces – positivity and optimism are key here, and not letting go of your end goal is vital.
It is important to take stock of what it is you really want in your life. The end of the year is the perfect time to do this – it’s a natural transition point as we start to think of how we want our future to look beyond the New Year.
Careers are also closely linked with our personal lives, so it’s important to take a holistic approach when exploring career options. There are all sorts of ways you can begin to explore your options including identifying your values, transferable skills and strengths or even undergoing a vocational assessment.
Decide what you want from an employer
One of the first things to decide is what you want from your next career move. Have a think about your values and which industry would support these. If you do have an industry in mind, evaluate your skills and talents, identify your transferable skills.
It’s also important to match your personality to the company culture. Any good job search should start with a very clear idea of the organisation and opportunity that will suit you best.
Plug gaps in your skillset
Take some time to reflect and think about the skills you have acquired and those that might be missing. Start to plan ways in which you can seek experiences to fill any gaps you might have.
For those skills you have gained, prepare some great examples of where and when you have used them, and note them down for upcoming applications and interviews.
Wait until the beginning of January before applying
I suggest waiting until the beginning of January before sending out job applications. Most businesses have put recruitment on hold for the rest of the year and many recruiters are more interested in Christmas parties than filling jobs.
However getting applications in before the January rush may give you an advantage. The job market in January will be absolutely awash with people looking for new opportunities, so it is actually quite a smart move to start your search early, while competition may be lower.
Source – The Guardian.com