The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. This worn out and tired saying is so often repeated (and, therefore, worn out and tired!) because it is true. The beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on what you’re going to do differently regarding your career and your job search.
We all know that the employee-employer contract is fundamentally different than it was thirty or forty years ago. You can no longer rely on your manager and your employer to map out your career trajectory. That is entirely incumbent upon you. Is this the year you decide to go back to school, to go for that promotion, or to change industries? If you’ve been with the same company or in the same role for a number of years, have you become complacent? Are you comfortable, but not challenged? Are you content, but not particularly engaged? These are some self- awareness inventory questions to ask. Similarly, are you still jazzed about the field you’re in? Does your job stimulate your intellect? Do you wish it did?
If your job search strategy has been to go online and apply for every position for which you moderately qualify, how has that been working for you? Do you invest time and effort into really conducting a targeted job search? Do you say the same things to all interviewers? Do you feel like you’ve been reading off of a script?
If none of these tactics are working for you, it’s time to change it up. Maybe that means going out and actively networking. Perhaps it means getting a new certification that will allow you to advance in your field. It might mean that you need to revamp all of your job search materials. What changes do you need to make to what you’ve been doing to get to where you want to be?
We toss the word “strategy” around all the time–so much so that it has lost its core meaning. A strategy is a plan that moves you forward to achieve a goal. Having a career management strategy means knowing what your goal is, and then working backward from there to come up with the actions that will be necessary to get there. After you’ve done that, you execute on the strategy.
What is your strategy for 2018? And most importantly, what is it that you’ll do differently this year? Think about what success looks like to you, and what you’d like to be able to say you’ve achieved this time next year.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for success! Here’s to being the best YOU you can be!