The holidays can spark moments of joy and excitement, but also cast a wave of uncertainty concerning career planning.
Recruiters may seek out candidates within as little as 24 hours to fill a position. Of course, some hiring managers may postpone interviewing until the New Year when the working world gets finally settled. This may temporarily stall jobseekers’ plans, enforcing them to prepare for the unexpected – to interview immediately after the New Year and then start a new role the very next day upon being hired, in fact.
~ Leveraging preparation and timeliness is of the essence in career matters. ~
If you find yourself caught between the holiday rush and carving out time for job search, then you might want to pause for some soul-searching. The type of career goals and timeframes that you set will likely determine your success in 2017.
Your Definition of Success is Shaped by Your Vision & Strategy
The key to setting those goals requires asking yourself some important questions:
“What does success look like for you?”
"What is your personal success mantra?"
“What is your philosophy and values concerning attaining success?”
Many jobseekers fall prey to common success stereotypes instilled by their family, friends, and colleagues without really outlining their authentic vision of success. Without a concrete definition of what success looks like for you, you will likely not know whether you have achieved “success” and how to measure relevant outcomes.
What Has Worked for You?
Consider what methods related to your job search and career development have worked for you in the past, and which have not, and why. If you can identify certain career-related themes and patterns that have proven fruitful, then you can evaluate and implement meaningful strategies to attaining your goals, saving yourself time.
Strengthen Your Marketable Skills
Have a conversation with your manager when starting a new job about what you can do to enhance your skill set and career growth. This will help you establish a blueprint for success by:
clarifying expectations and setting a goal-focused plan
boosting your confidence to help you maximize your contributions in your workplace as a valued team member
allow you to manage your career growth
leveraging constructive feedback to navigate potential challenges
By offering or receiving mentoring, taking a certification course, or investing in practical learning, you will improve your skills and produce valued achievements.
The Value of Networking
A recent article in The Hamilton Spectator, Use the holidays to reset your career path, by Cindy K. Goodman suggests that “holiday parties and charity events are networking goldmines.” Equally, delicately staffed workplaces can provide a medium for fostering meaningful connections.
Consider what networks have you established throughout the year. If you could do one thing to change your networking style in 2017, what would it be, and how do you propose to achieve this goal?
Be Proactive: Initiate Career Conversations to Foster Continuous Improvement
According to Goodman, today’s organizations tend to be flatter with less middle management. This means that employees need to progress on a large scale to the next level or locate openings in different areas of their companies. The article reports that 50 per cent of professionals who make these big leaps at work seem to struggle. Does this seem familiar?
Establishing a goal-focused career plan could offer you clarity, while deterring you from the onset of struggle, hitting potential career roadblocks, and then exiting the organization well in advance (which happens to many jobseekers).
The end of year is the most opportune time to weigh your options. Consider the following questions for self-reflection and exploration:
Set and Maintain a Focused Career Goal
What are the tasks that you enjoy doing the most in the workplace? What tasks are not as enjoyable?
What is your personal career mission and purpose?
Where do you best see yourself working? What type of environment? What industry? What kind of team?
What are the values that you are seeking in your workplace?
What is your ideal salary range? What is the minimum salary that you are prepared to accept?
Your Unique Value Proposition
What are your unique strengths? Are you a leader? Change agent? Analytical problem solver? Mentor? Astute communicator?
Do you know your worth and what you can deliver to an organization and to the employer? In other words, what sets you apart from other candidates?
Meet Organizational Challenges
How can you leverage my marketable skills to meet or solve certain challenges in an organization that are critical?
What are your most proudest achievements? Acknowledge them.
What are potential challenges that pose a concern?
Describe and visualize the change that you want to see for your career in 2017.
This will keep you focused on your career target, preventing you from applying to roles or organizations that are not aligned with your career needs and goals.
A Focus on Continuous Improvement
What career-related areas do you need to work on for improvement?
If you could re-create a professional development plan to further advance, what would be your first priority?
Do you need to acquire a certification? Brush up on technology?
What’s in Store for 2017?
By setting realistic and measurable goals, unleashing your potential, and leveraging rewarding career opportunities aligned with your goals, 2017 will likely start on a solid foundation. Start with some self-reflection first.
If you are transitioning into a new role, company or industry, and need a concrete plan for achieving success, let’s talk. Contact Creative Horizons Communications at 905-730-2374 or email@example.com.