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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

Happy New Year 2024 - Could it be Time to Look for a New Job?

Hope you have enjoyed a pleasant holiday and have stepped into 2024 with a renewed enthusiasm and zest to take your goals and dreams to new horizons.


Take the New Year, New Job 21-Day Challenge

 

A new year is a great time to assess where you’re at professionally.


Is it time for you to make a job change?


Or a career change?


This 21-day challenge is designed to help!

 

During this challenge, you’ll take 30 days of consistent action in 5 different areas:

 

·       Where Are You Now?

·       Where Are You Going?

·       What Sets You Apart?

·       What’s Your Plan?

·       Let’s Do This!

 

Take action each day in one of these areas (see the list below for ideas). This challenge will reward effort, not results. 


Remember: Results will come when you take consistent action, day after day, in meeting your goal!





Enlist an Accountability Partner

 

For best results, enlist an accountability partner to help you complete the challenge. Ideally, it will be someone looking to make a job or career change too, so you can keep each other accountable and on track. For best results, check in with each other daily.


Challenge Calendar or Planner Tools

 

You can choose to use either the Challenge Calendar or the Challenge Planner to plan and track each day’s activities. Write down the activity you will do and put a big red “X” on each day you complete a challenge activity.


At the end of the month, you want as many spaces marked off as possible on your Calendar or Planner.

 

There are three ways to conduct the challenge:

 

•    Do one action item each day for 21 days straight

•    Take action for 5 days each week (no weekends) for 4 weeks (plus 1 day)

•    Take actions for 3 days each week for 7 weeks (for example, Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday)

 

It’s up to you!

 

At the end of each week during the challenge, reward yourself for good performance. Enjoy a special outing or anything else that will encourage you to keep going!

 

Here are suggested actions within each of the areas.

 

Where Are You Now

 

¨ Find the most recent version of your résumé and/or cover letter and locate the most recent copy of your job description.

¨ Google yourself. What comes up when you put your name on Google? Evaluate your social media presence.

¨ Brainstorm a list of everything you need to add to your résumé: recent work experience and accomplishments, education, training, certifications or licenses, etc.

¨ Identify and review your most recent performance evaluation or annual review. What were you commended for?

¨ Extract information for your brag book — a copy of your college or university transcript and certificates/diplomas, work samples, copies of awards or honors, testimonials about your work from supervisors and/or customers, etc.

¨ Review your social media profiles. Do they position you effectively as a jobseeker? If not, eliminate negative information. Delete any profiles you’re no longer using.

¨ Take some time to consider whether you want to pursue a new job or a new career. Create a “pro/con” list for each.

¨ Discover what you do best by taking a skills assessment, like the Clifton StrengthsFinder or DISC profile.

 

Where Are You Going?


¨ Why do you want to make a change? Take 15 minutes and sit down and make a list of the things you do and do not like about your current job/career.

¨ Instead of asking yourself, “What do I want to be when I grow up,” sit down and reflect and ask yourself the question, “What problem(s) do I want to solve?”

¨ Brainstorm what are the 10 most likely job titles for the position you want.

¨ Research and identify 3 job postings for the type of position you’d like (even if these aren’t the exact job postings that you actually end up applying for).

¨ Spend some time thinking about your dream job. Create a list of the types of things you’d be doing each day if you were working in your dream job.

¨ Think about what you would want your next job to do for you that your current job doesn’t. In other words, make a list of what will be different about your next job.

¨ Assess whether you have the skills, experience, and/or qualifications necessary for the job or career you want to pursue.

¨ Don’t just look for a job — look for a calling or purpose - your "ikigai". Spend 15 minutes answering these three questions: What are you meant to do? How can you use your skills, education, and experience for maximum benefit? What kinds of problems could you solve for a company?

¨ Take a personality assessment (like the Holland Self-Directed Search, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) to determine what type of work you’re best suited for.

 

Your Unique Value Proposition: What Sets You Apart?


¨ What value would you bring to your next employer? Can you help the company make money? Save money or time? Enhance efficiency, or solve a specific problem? Expand their business and attract or retain customers? Identify what you can do in each of these areas.

¨ Outline five accomplishments using the C-A-R strategy. (What was the Challenge? What Actions did you take? What Results did you achieve?)

¨ Make a list of new skills and education you’ve achieved. Have you attended any conferences? Achieved a certification?

¨ Also consider non-traditional education/training. Assemble a list of online courses, boot camps, and tutorials you’ve completed that are relevant to your job/career target.

¨ Write up a list of the honors and/or awards you’ve received.

¨ Prepare yourself to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself.”

¨ Write down your biggest professional accomplishment of the past year.

¨ Be prepared to answer questions about gaps in your employment, skills you don’t have that are necessary for the job/career you want, and why you left a job. Think through how you’d answer questions about these issues.

 

What’s Your Plan?


¨ Take a few minutes to organize your job search. Draft a weekly list of activities you’ll engage in.

¨ Identify the skills, training, and/or education you need for success in your next job or career. Research how to obtain one of these.

¨ Take a skills test or skills interest inventory to assess your strengths and skills.

¨ Research your target job salary.

¨ Reach out to someone who works for the company you aim to work for, or in the industry you want to work for. Ask them if they will meet you for lunch or dinner.

¨ Think about how you got your last job. Spend a few minutes identifying how you got your most recent job. (For example, were you networking at a professional association meeting?) Is that something you can try again?

¨ Identify the tools you will need for your job search. Make a list of things you need, or need to update, like your résumé and LinkedIn profile.

¨ Find an accountability partner. Who can you work with to support you during your job search? Maybe it’s enlisting your spouse, or a friend. Or maybe it’s hiring a career coach. Line that person up.

¨ Make a list of 10 companies you’d like to work for, whether or not they are actively advertising relevant openings right now.

¨ Brainstorm a list of people or key contacts ("champions" or "prospects") to reach out to that can provide ideas, information, and leads for your job search. If you have a Christmas card list, start there.

 

Take Action:  Let’s Do This!


¨ Research one of the companies that you’re interested in. Look at their website. Do a Google search on them. Look at what current and former employees have to say about them on sites like Glassdoor.

¨ Go through your network and contact anyone you know (or a friend-of-a-friend) who works for each of the companies you your target company list.

¨ Reach out to one person in your network and inform them that you are looking for a new opportunity.

¨ Identify a hiring manager at one of your target companies, and find someone in your network who knows him/her and can make an introduction to that person.

¨ Join a professional association and examine how you can get more involved.

¨ Update your résumé. Reach out to enlist the help of a professional résumé writer if needed.

¨ Create (or update) your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your résumé and LinkedIn profile are in alignment in terms of focus and content.

¨ Brainstorm a list of 25 keywords that you should include on your résumé to help it get through the applicant tracking system (ATS) software.

¨ Research recruiters who work in your target industry and send 3-5 of them a LinkedIn connection request.

¨ Apply for an advertised opening for a job you’re interested in.

 

Completing the 21-Day Challenge


At the end of the 21 days, review your progress.

 

·       Do you have any leads on unadvertised openings?

·       Any interviews or job offers yet?

·       If not, don’t worry. The majority of this 21-day challenge is focused on preparing yourself for the job search, not conducting the job search.

 

Even if you’re not yet in your new job, celebrate your completion of the 21-day challenge! By sticking with the challenge, you’ve set yourself up for success in the new year.


For more information on adopting this 21-day New Year, New Job challenge, contact Lori @ Creative Horizons Communications at 905-730-2374 or email creativehorizonsresumes@gmail.com.



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