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6 career resolutions to find a new job in 2019

Though the hiring market continues to tip in candidates’ favor, it doesn’t mean job seekers should sit back and wait for the right opportunity to come their way.

With 2019 freshly begun, many professionals are thinking about what they want to achieve in the coming year — whether that be a promotion or new job. Though the hiring market continues to tip in candidates’ favor, it doesn’t mean job seekers should sit back and wait for the right opportunity to come their way.

It remains important to set goals, be prepared to showcase your achievements, or perhaps embark upon a job search to land the right role.

Jim Jeffers, metro market manager of Robert Half in Madison, says the first step is to pick the right resolutions — those that are specific, measurable, and attainable. “For example, if your goal is to expand your professional network, you could resolve in the coming year to make three lunch dates with key acquaintances, reach out to 25 new contacts on LinkedIn, or join a professional association and attend at least six meetings.”

Once a resolution passes that quality check, it’s important to hold yourself accountable, notes Jeffers. “Write down your resolutions and tell people about them. Reward yourself once they are accomplished. Post a copy of your career objectives where you’ll see them daily. Viewing them often can prevent you from losing focus. Break down goals into smaller action items to have a greater chance of success. Lastly, determine key milestones throughout the year and establish checkpoints to help ensure career goals aren’t lost in the shuffle among other work priorities.”

Professionals should also assess whether this is the best time to ask for a promotion. Have there been recent layoffs? How is the business doing overall? Timing will be key to whether your request is granted, and you’ll need to be sensitive to current business conditions, says Jeffers.

According to Jeffers, when preparing to bring up the possibility of a promotion or raise, make sure you have checked these boxes:

  • Get in the know. Learn what qualifications are necessary to reach that next level. Determine the average pay range for your position by consulting resources such as salary guides.
  • Step up. Look for ways to go beyond your current role by volunteering for assignments that challenge your abilities and impact the company’s bottom line.
  • Talk it over. Discuss long-term career aspirations with your boss. He or she may know of internal opportunities that align with your goals and can help you evaluate and prepare for these positions.
  • Learn something new. You may need to brush up on some skills or earn a special certification or advanced degree.
  • Be well connected. Network within your company. You could learn of new opportunities first and increase the likelihood that someone considers you when a position becomes available.

Here are six career resolutions to find a new job in the new year:

Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Make sure your skills and experience are up to date on your materials. Don’t wait to revise them until you find a job that interests you. It’s a huge advantage to be ready to go for job opportunities that arise when you least expect it.

Strengthen your skill set. Take courses that will help you land the job you want, or earn an industry-recognized certification. Pursuing professional development shows initiative and a commitment to learning, as well as an understanding of what it takes to excel in your field. It also makes it easier for you to answer the question that all hiring managers are likely to ask in one form or another: How can you add value to the organization?

Look for a job that makes you happy. Now is a good time to assess your professional and personal goals and determine exactly what you’re seeking in a new position. What will make you happiest? Develop a clear picture of what will allow you to reach the goal you’ve set of securing a new job. Without a specific idea of the criteria you want, you’ll have trouble finding the right fit.

Audit your online presence. Update and enhance your social media profiles, which can help you get noticed. Also make sure your online profiles don’t raise any red flags for hiring managers. Make sure all information is current, accurate, and presents you in the best possible light. If there’s something you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see — photos from vacation or your thoughts about a sports team, for example — review your privacy settings.

Expand your professional network, both online and offline. Online, seek out new professional contacts at organizations you want to work for. Offline, it’s important to attend Madison industry events and have a local presence in your community. Check out local trade organizations — many may hold regular networking mixers.

Be persistent as you pursue your new year goals. Even though the job market is strong, it could still take time to land your dream job. Keep networking, strengthening your skills, and applying for jobs.

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