How to stand out and form a meaningful connection during your next job interview by…
Greetings fellow professionals! As the end of January quickly approaches, I have just one question for you: what’s the current status of YOUR New Year’s resolutions??
Did you decide to pull the trigger on that expensive gym membership that you just KNEW would force you into a more regular workout routine? Are you starting to regret the weekend trip you planned to your in-laws (it seemed like a good idea at the time, right?). Are you missing the extra money from your holiday bonus that went toward all your credit card bills?
Losing weight, spending more time with family, and paying off debts are among some of the top resolutions for the new year every year, but what about that promotion that’s been in the back of your mind for months, or the Excel class you’ve been meaning to take that’s been saved in your internet browser for as long as you can remember? We make the effort to think, plan and execute on plenty of personal resolutions – why shouldn’t your career get the same treatment?
Whether you’re still figuring out what your professional goals are, or there’s a career milestone you’ve been trying to reach for years, there’s no time like the present to make your career resolutions a reality. Review the tips below to accomplish some common career objectives, and make 2018 your most successful year yet!
Make a Fresh Start –
The new year can be a great time to reset, reflect, and think about what’s next. Especially if you’re a teacher looking to transition into a role outside of the classroom, now is the time to start structuring your job search.
If you’re jobseeking in the education sector, first thing I would recommend is completing your free WorkMonger JobSeeker Profile so we can match you with the right job for you! Once you’ve completed that, then a few other preliminary steps you can take include:
- Update your resume: Especially if you’ve been with the same employer for an extended period of time, make sure you’re properly representing your progress and achievements on your resume. Give yourself some extra time for a friend or trusted colleague to review it for any edits.
- Reach out to your network: You never know who might have the inside scoop on the perfect position for you; plus, with so many great employer referral incentives available these days, there are plenty of people within your network that are likely very happy to help!
- Practice your pitch: Whether you’ve been at your current job for many years and your role has changed significantly, or you’ve decided to finally switch industries, make sure you practice how to communicate your strengths, responsibilities, and accomplishments to someone outside of your organization.
- Don’t wait: Especially if you’re in an unhappy relationship with your current employer, don’t wait until things get to the point of being unbearable to start your job search. Finding the best next step can take time, but the last thing you want is to accept a role you feel lukewarm about just so you can leave your current position.
Tip: Looking for some expert resume, cover letter, and interview tips to land your perfect next job? WorkMonger’s Career Services has you covered!
Get Promoted –
You’re meeting and exceeding your goals, you just killed your latest presentation and you’re geling with your co-workers and managers better than ever. You’re ready for that promotion.
- Have a frank conversation with your direct manager: Make sure you’re both on the same page and that you’re communicating with your direct supervisor to ensure you know exactly what steps you need to take to advance in your career and the timeline for doing so.
- Actively seek out feedback: Go above and beyond to not only make sure you understand what you’re doing well, but also where you need to improve so you can show your employers how well you are able to implement feedback and grow as a professional.
- Share your ideas: Have an idea you’ve been sitting on for awhile that you’ve thought through a million times and just know it could be a success? Now’s the time to speak up! Be solution oriented; create a proposal that shows all the steps that would need to take place, the expected timeline, who needs to be involved, and what the ultimate outcome would be.
- Track your progress with metrics: Numbers don’t lie! Go prepared to your next performance review outlining the progress you’ve made in your job, backed up by metrics (Ex: “I’ve seen a 60% increase in my sales numbers from implementing x,y,z strategies”).
Develop Your Skill Set –
Ok. Maybe you were passed over for that promotion this time around, but there are things you can do to improve your skill set in the hopes of advancing in your career OR just to learn something new, including:
- Getting your degree or professional certificate.
- Joining a professional organization within your field.
- Learning a new language or software program.
- Reading professional self help/guide books.
Tip: Utilizing online learning platforms like Lynda.com or Coursera is a great way to easily seek out different professional development topics that you didn’t even know you were interested in! (P.S. – Many of these courses are available at no cost or offer a free trial!)
Finally.. Expand Your Network!
You’ve had some really nice chats with Linda from Accounting while your lunch was being microwaved in the communal kitchen, why not get out of the office and go grab coffee together? Who’s that LinkedIn connection from the well-known Fortune 500 company again? Shoot them a message to learn more about what they do! Creating a strong network of support to cheer you on in your professional endeavors can increase the number of opportunities that come your way, and also provide you with the encouragement needed to succeed.
Don’t allow yourself to feel stuck in your normal routine. Use this year as a way to break boundaries, challenge yourself and learn more about something (or someone) new.
So, what does 2018 have in store for you?