Whether you’re new to a job search or continuing along a (too-long) journey, the new year is a chance to start fresh. You’ve likely been slogging through the job search process 24/7, head down and eyes bleary, concentrating on sending out your resume and making yet one more networking connection. Take advantage of a new calendar year to do a mental reset to review and refocus your efforts. Here are some suggestions to help re-energize your job search.
1) Review what’s been working – and what hasn’t. Take a breath from your frantic job search activities and do some self-reflection. Are your career goals still the same? Are they clearly reflective of your values and skills, and articulated through all your marketing materials? Is your brand well defined and a good representation of who you are and what sets you apart from the competition? Then look at your search for the past year; what activities did you focus on, and what gave you the biggest return on investment? What didn’t work as well? Have a critical eye, and “clean out” what’s not working for you; for example, it may be easy to respond to posted positions online, but if you’re not getting responses, it’s more beneficial to focus the majority of your time and effort on other activities, like making targeted networking contacts.
2) Reconnect with old contacts, including your references. Update them on your status and job search, ask for referrals for informational interviews, confirm that your references are still willing to speak on your behalf if contacted. Also follow up with any new contacts you met over the holidays; arrange networking meetings to get better acquainted. Remember that networking is a two-way street, so always find out how you can assist your contacts as well.
3) Set and commit to new goals. Try something new and maybe out of the box to connect to people (increase your network)– i.e. join a MeetUp group (www.meetup.com) or professional association – and plan to attend meetings monthly; connect with RIT alumni – through LinkedIn, your local chapter or the Alumni Relations Tiger Locator database; volunteer for a cause outside your normal areas of interest; ask someone to mentor you; start using a new social media site, like Google+; be more active on LinkedIn (think contributing your expertise, helping others and finding back-door ways to get into targeted companies, not just randomly sending connect invites).
4) Do a targeted marketing plan. If you already have one, review and revise it. This important tool helps you focus your job search by summarizing your key qualities (values, core competencies and skills), as well as your preferred job titles, work environment and targeted companies, into a comprehensive document. See here for more on developing a marketing plan - http://ritalumnicareerblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/re-boot-week-2-developing-targeted.html.
5) Refresh yourself – get a new LinkedIn profile picture and update your status, update yourself - get a new suit, accessories, (don’t hesitate to check out your local consignment shop for professional wear at a bargain) or haircut, start meditating, be grateful, pay it forward at the drive through, smile at a stranger. Activities that make you feel good about yourself will give you new confidence.
6) This one’s a bonus – schedule a meeting with your advisor in our office. Bring your review and ideas, and we can help you formulate some new goals for the year ahead. We can work with you in person, through email or by phone – just call our office at 585-475-2301 to schedule an appointment.
When you freshen up your routine, you’ll find yourself with renewed energy and a positive attitude, and you’ll approach your job search tasks with a renewed sense of vigor.
Let’s hear your suggestions - what have you done (or will you now do) to put some new energy into your job search this year?
Do you have a question or topic you’d like to see addressed in a future blog post? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.