The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. -Steve Jobs

New Year, New You… right?  Time to get fit, get organized, become more charitable, and, perhaps, finally land that dream job. Here is my advice about how to make the big leap into CHANGE.

1. Resolve to stay rested and centered. Here’s the truth: there’s always another deadline, another fire to put out, obligations, stressers. It’s part of our American culture to go, go, GO! But sometimes we just need to force ourselves to take a time out. So consciously take steps to slow down and clear your mind. Go for a run. Meditate. Take a lunch break. GET OUT OF TOWN (if you can). Do whatever it takes for you to find your happy place.  You are ineffective when you are tired and burned out, and people won’t want to hire you.

2. Resolve to figure out what it is that you really want in a job.  This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT step in changing your life path, and it is also the hardest.  Nevertheless, if you don’t know what you want, you won’t recognize it when the opportunity presents itself. Sit down with a pen and actually write things down.  Be clear about what job you want and why. Visualize exactly the size of the company, the duties you’d enjoy, and the industry in which you’d like to work.

3. Resolve to update your resume.  Make sure that you have your resume clean, neat, accurate and up-to-date. Even if you are not actively looking, you should be ready to respond if the perfect job happens to present itself.  A concise, chronological resume is still an important tool to have.  Not an on-line resume, but a resume that you can easily forward to both internal and external recruiters, or even a friend or colleague that wants to share your credentials with a hiring manager.  And while you’re at it,

4. Resolve to complete your LinkedIn profile.  Now that you have an updated resume, you can easily complete your LinkedIn profile, and this is a vital way to actively and passively connect with people who are hiring, or might know of people that are hiring. Spend some time writing a compelling summary. Describe past employment experiences using the terms hiring managers in your field are likely to search. Include your education and specialties. Add a professional photo. And request recommendations from former coworkers and supervisors who can vouch for your value.

5. Resolve to make new friends and expand your network. One key to a successful job search is networking. More than 50% (probably closer to 75%) of all hiring is done through referrals, so if you have a bad attitude about networking, it’s time to get over it.  Look at it as a way to make new friends. Talk to everyone you know. Be interested in people. Take advantage of social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with industry leaders and recruiters, and to show off your unique skills and experience. These sites are great resources for connecting with hiring decision-makers, or those who can put you in touch with them.

6. Resolve to be prepared. Have your ‘why story’ well-rehearsed so that when you do get an interview you don’t mess it up. While resumes may help you to open the door, it’s the purposeful story you will tell that often gets you through the door and into a new office with your name on it. Lack of preparation in order to tell a purposeful and compelling story about themselves is the number one reason why candidates fail to win over prospective employers in job interviews.

7. Resolve to have fun in the interview. Good communication skills are vitally important for landing your next job. Before your next interview, come armed! Not with resume bullets, but confidence. The truth is that once you get to the interview stage, the hiring manager has already seen your resume and decided that you are qualified. At the interview stage they want to see if they like you.  So hard as it seems, try to have fun. You should know your story so that you don’t stumble over easy questions but don’t be afraid to be yourself… smile, laugh, show them that you would be somebody that they would enjoy seeing day in and day out.

8. Resolve to Follow Up. One area that I believe to be deficient in many people’s job searches is follow up. It is admittedly a weakness of mine as well. Most people just email a resume or submit an application and then leave it at that. To be successful you must be proactively follow up on the initial submission. Experts say that there should be a least three attempts at following up including phone and email. Of course you should also follow up after an interview.  Immediately send an e-mail thank you, and then also follow up with a hand written note. If you haven’t heard back from the company after a week, follow up again.

9. Resolve to go for it. Once you have figured out what it is that you want, you have to JUST DO IT! Search job boards and employment postings, talk to friends and acquaintances. Do company searches on LinkedIn within your preferred geography.  Find a recruiter, or a friend, or an acquaintance, and see if they can introduce you to people within your ideal company. Stalk your target company. Believe in yourself.

10. Resolve to have a new job by this time next year. It’s not as simple as it sounds, and it really is crucial. All things ready when the mind be so. The key in the readiness process is coming to terms, in our own minds, that it’s time to begin. We don’t do anything until we are ready. We don’t start or end jobs, fall in love or live a passionate life until we are good and ready to do so.

In the words of Buddha, “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.”

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt