If finding a new job is one of your resolutions for 2014, it’s time to get serious about it.
One of the reasons New Year’s resolutions fail is people fail to create a real plan, says Mary Lee Gannon of StartingOverNow. “Would you go on a trip without a map, itinerary and resources?”
Here’s some advice on how to create a plan for 2014 job search success.
Set a goal
Make a fresh start in your job search with a renewed purpose by turning your resolution into a clear-cut, concise goal, says Michael Provitera, associate professor of organizational behavior at Barry University. This can be finding a job in a certain field, or simply finding a job in a certain location.
In addition, Gannon recommends throwing out old goals that simply aren’t realistic for you. “Spend time uncovering what truly matters to you,” she says. “What do you feel you are at your best? When do people ask you for help?”
Search like it’s your job
Whether you’re continuing an ongoing job search or starting a new one, prioritizing your search is key.
“If you’re not working, your job search is your job,” says Todd Cherches, CEO of BigBlueGumball. “Approach it as a job or a project. Set milestones and deadlines. Set quantifiable goals.” Doing so helps you dedicate the time and effort your job search requires to be a success.
Focus, but don’t limit yourself
Cherches says it’s important to aim for what you want, but also to keep an open mind in case something unexpected comes up. Don’t settle for something that’s one of your deal-breakers, but don’t dismiss unexpected opportunities out of hand simply because they don’t match up with what you’re hoping for.
“Target your search, but don’t limit it,” he advises. “Years ago I got a job offer to be the head of leadership development for a financial services company. A Wall Street firm was absolutely the last place I ever thought I wanted to work. It turned out to be the best job I ever had at a terrific company. If I hadn’t been open to considering this option, I would have missed out on an incredible three-year career experience.”
Revive the informational interview
“The job search is all about technique and finesse, especially when you need to do so urgently,” says Marc DeBoer, president of A Better Interview. “I recommend leveraging the informational interview as a quick way to network, meet new people and uncover job leads.”
Doing informational interviews gets you out and about in front of people who may in a position to hire for in the near future and can help you quickly tap into a “hidden” job market, DeBoer says. This keeps you ahead of the competition for jobs that aren’t open or posted yet, but will be soon.
Taking advantage of social media can help reach a wider variety of prospects and can keep your job search energized.
“Create a YouTube resume or an Instagram account where you highlight aspects of your career that will stand out to hiring managers,” says Lida Citroen of LIDA360. “Post a link to those creative accounts on your resume to get them noticed.”