New Year’s Resolutions and Your Job Search

New Year’s Resolutions can be applied to all aspects of our lives. A job search is no exception and may be the most important!  What we do is so much a part of who we are in our culture that landing and keeping a job can be the most significant activity of our lives in a single year.  The usual first question asked when meeting someone new is ‘What do you do?’  If you answer, ‘I am not working right now, but…….’ the conversation may or may not be over.

Consider a New Year’s Resolution a contract with yourself, something to give your job search a fresh purpose and meaning.  Show you care about yourself!  Resolutions can be empowering and enable the job seeker to have more control over the desired outcome of landing a good job.
Suggested New Year’s Resolutions
Believe in Yourself!
The most important resolution you can make is to believe in yourself.  Believing in yourself is more than maintaining a positive attitude.  It is recognizing your potential as a prospective employee and having the courage to share your talents with others. Believing in yourself is to be your own advocate!
With a strong belief in yourself, you will find the will to make things happen.  It is measuring who you are as a person and a job seeker and projecting that image and self-confidence to employers. Believing in yourself will release you from negative thinking about your position in the job market and allow you to remove any obstacles to landing a job.
How?  Conduct an ‘internal audit’ so to speak.  Consider what drives and motivates you.  Rediscover your strengths and abilities and match them to jobs to which you apply.  Focus on why you want to work and what gives you the most satisfaction in a job.  Will this role help me improve my life and move my career forward?  Believing in yourself will create the energy you need to sustain your job search and the enthusiasm to be hired!
Set Goals
Goals set the foundation and structure to any job search.  Goals provide the guidelines and measurements necessary for success!  Goals help you visualize yourself in your next role and outline the steps necessary to get there!
How do you choose your goals? Start by choosing one goal and work toward that specific objective. This will keep you focused and on track.  Career Coaches and Job Search professionals recommend any goal be SMART- Specific meaning detailed;Measurable meaning able to be counted or ‘quantifiable’; Attainable meaning you can get there without expending too many resources financial or otherwise; Realisticmeaning the necessary steps are within your reach; and Timely with an end date giving a sense of urgency and the drive to succeed.
Be objective in setting your goals and do not become emotionally involved in your job search or with any one job to which you apply. Do not take ‘No’ personally and ‘let go’-do not harbor any resentment or anger that accompanies blaming yourself or others when you do not reach a goal!
Do not procrastinate, be clear as to what your goals are, and project a positive attitude!
With your goals set, you are ready to take action and land that job!
Never Give Up!
So called ‘failure’ can be a good thing.  What really is failure in a job search? If to fail means you tried and tried again, never gave up and began again, that is a good thing! How many job applications and interviews you complete and are not hired is an indicator of your persistence and tenacity.  If you stop your job search after one rejection or ‘failure’, then you will never win or be hired.  Failure presents an opportunity to try again and eventually reach your goals.
Talented and intelligent people ‘fail’. What sets them apart is their unwillingness to accept defeat and to never give up.
Maintain Balance and Be Healthy!
It is important to put a job search in context with the other facets of your life.  Yes, you need a job and have bills to pay. However, if you do not take time out to take care of yourself, to relax and step back from your job search, you will fail in the long run.  You cannot work if you are not healthy and relaxed and up to taking on the challenge of a new job!
The traditional resolutions go without saying, to eat right, exercise more, get enough sleep and relax.  However, you might consider volunteering as a way to maintain balance in your life and to maintain a healthy outlook. Staying socially engaged and interacting with others is a way to maintain a healthy perspective on your job search.   It is also a way to stay connected, keep your job skills honed and network! And have a current ‘job’ on your resume.
Important 2012 resolutions are to remember to always say ‘Thank you’, to acknowledge others and the role they play in the success of your job search, and to always share what you learn with other job seekers.  These simple yet important resolutions have a major impact of how others relate to you and how willing a participant they might be in your job search and eventual success.
Please share your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions for your job search and any outcomes from last year’s resolution.  Your comments and your stories are welcome!