Welcome to the first business day of 2010!
Good riddance to 2009. It was a miserable year for a lot of people. If you weren’t directly affected, you knew a whole slew of people who were. It’s time for a fresh start. And I don’t mean in the “It’s a new decade!!1!” kind of way because that’s already getting on my nerves and we’re only 3 days in. Instead, use the “New Year” as an excuse (even if it’s a lame one) to take a closer look at your working life.
Here are 10 things to consider:
- No matter what your job situation is, how’s your resume looking? When’s the last time you revisited it? Something is sure to have happened over the last year that would make it worth your while to update, add and purge. Did you include your volunteer somewhere? Did you get a promotion? Did you move? Is your contact info up to date? Getting away from the boring design you had when you graduated college and adding a little creative touch wouldn’t be a bad idea either. I’m gonna work on a list of resume “Do’s and Don’ts” – so be on the look out for that if you need some help.
- Along the same lines, think about all of the materials you’ll be submitting to potential employers. If you have portfolios, work samples, writing pieces or the dreaded cover letter (again, something on that in 2010 from me), take a look at all of your templates and make sure you’re still happy with what you might send to employers – or get yourself to a point where you are again.
- Has anyone given feedback on what you’ve put together? Once you’ve done something about your resume and the rest of your materials, give them to someone else to look at. A second pair of eyes will catch what the first pair didn’t.
- When’s the last time you checked in with your network? Everyone uses their network when they don’t have a job (and if you’re not, why aren’t you?). And keep it up – employee recommendations are the best resource for new hires. But keeping up with those people to find out how they’re doing when you DON’T need anything will make them more likely to help out when you do have a favor to ask. Use “Happy New Year” as a good place to start. Remember your social networks online as well as offline.
- If you’re unemployed, how can you change your job search for 2010? What can you use that you aren’t already? Social media is becoming a better resource for jobs than ever before. Try doing a search on Twitter using #jobs for example. Job boards are a way of the past, but there may still be something on there and it can’t hurt to look. Craig’s List is becoming more and more reputable for job postings. And there may be a niche site out there related to your skill set that you could look at.
- If you are employed, do you know what else is out there? The grass may actually be greener somewhere else. It can’t hurt to keep looking. And if you’re paying attention, it means that you might stumble upon something to help out one of your unemployed friends. You never know – passing along that job ad to someone could be just the thing they need to get themselves going again.
- Have you thought about an informational interview? If you want to get more information about a certain field/career path/position/company/etc., it could be beneficial. But don’t use the informational interview as a “backdoor” into getting a job. As Ask A Manager will tell you, it’s a bad idea.
- What certifications/registrations can you add this year? While education may be more expensive than you can handle, a registration may be more affordable and can enhance your resume for something imminent or for your application down the road.
- What are your 2010 goals? Sure, think big - you definitely want to ”find a job” this year! But think small and more easily attainable at the same time. You can aim to learn a new software program or enhance your typing skills. If you think about it now, you’ll have to time to schedule it in.
- And finally, excuse my cheesiness, but remember that you have a whole new year in front of you. 2009 sucked, I already said that. But you’ve got to suck it up and keep going. Get an attitude readjustment, and try thinking about what will happen, not about what happened last year. The beginning of 2010 will suck too, don’t worry. But at least you’ve got a whole new year to make something of. So, like Zac Efron would say, get your head in the game!
Ugh, as if top 10 lists weren’t overused enough. Expect to see them EVERYWHERE in ’10 since they correspond with the year. Glad I could contribute to the fad.
Anything you’d add to the list as we head into the new decade?