Most of us approach a new year as an opportunity for personal growth and reflection. Where were our strengths and weaknesses? Where did we succeed or struggle? How can we improve? If you were job searching, or looking to make a career change, those same questions apply. Of course, any time of the year is right time for change—it all depends on when you feel prepared to take action. However, in the tradition of resolutions, let’s look at ways you can develop career goals in 2018.
Continue to refine your soft skills
Soft skills are increasingly important in the competitive job market. Remember that hard skills are what you need to do at work and soft skills are how you get that work done (and how you interact with other people.) They have a far and influential reach in the workplace, impacting productivity to morale to company culture and can even make you stand out in a pool of qualified candidates. The good thing about soft skills is they are always evolving. You can take workshops or classes to improve things like organization, communication, stress management, adaptability, positivity, accepting criticism, and more. The list is truly extensive. But perhaps the most amount of work on soft skills will come from your own efforts. They take a lot of self-awareness to develop and grow, but it’s essential to workplace success.
Learn a new hard skill
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? It could be anything from getting a tutorial in Excel to taking a class in biochemistry to understanding how to create a budget. Even better, is there a hard skill you can learn that would improve your job search efforts? Maybe you felt like lacking a certain skill held you back in your job hunt last year. Adding hard skills to your resume can expand your job search and open up more opportunities. New skills can help empower you and provide extra confidence.
Identify bad habits
We’re all guilty of losing track of the tasks at hand. Sometimes it’s easy to become distracted when under a lot of stress and then we can feel additional stress because we became distracted. Breaking this cycle means identifying what stops your productivity and actively working on ways to remain focused. Do you start to check social media when you need to be writing a cover letter? There are a lot of tools available to stay on track, but you’ll need to find what works best for you. Maybe it’s setting a timer for how long you’ll work on a project and committing yourself to that work until the timer goes off. The most important step here is first identifying the bad habits and then resolving to break them.
Time and time again we remind job seekers to attend hiring events and keep an eye out for networking opportunities. It’s one of the most helpful resources when looking to find work or make a career change. Sometimes who you know can really impact landing a job. Maybe they think of you when a job is posted at their company or they know of a place hiring and can give you a good reference.
Use social media
Social media serves many purposes, one being job searching. You can use platforms, especially LinkedIn, to find job postings, talk to other job seekers, and connect with hiring managers. Just make sure your profile is professional. If you need to, you can make a separate profile that’s designated just for your job hunting. Make sure your picture is appropriate and your comments aren’t controversial.
Do you need help setting some career goals for 2018? You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance. Call 602-535-4444 to find a career center near you or visit our locations page. Good luck with your job search!