It is natural to begin a new year thinking about changes you would like to make in your life and perhaps this will focus on your career. But like New Year's Resolutions, there is always a chance that good intention will fade once the day-to-day demands of life return. Most people break their resolutions within weeks of making them. This should not deter you from making a promise to evaluate your job and career though. Instead you should set realistic goals for the process and give yourself some key questions to answer during the coming weeks and months.
If you are ready and eager for change, set yourself some easy goals first, rather than thinking by the end of January you will be in a new role. Be prepared for setbacks and disappointment too; both with yourself for not doing all you want to and during the job hunt itself. It can feel brutal at times but the right job and opportunity will present itself if you keep up the momentum.
Not only do people think about changing jobs at the start of the year, January and February is also when more people are hired. However, most research suggests March, April and May are the best times for job hunting, so there is plenty of time to get the process going.
Here are some useful tips for beginning the year with a focus on your work and what you would like to achieve:
1) Think about what you want
It seems obvious, but the first step is asking yourself what you really want. Are you looking for a change of direction, a new challenge or more money? You can start by assessing your current role and what the prospects are for progression. If you have a good manager or team around you, discuss that with someone and ask the question. If you get positive feedback about what your employer can offer, try and get some clarity on what that progression is and the timeframe involved. Do not fall for false promises and answers that fob you off. If it leads to a company offering you more money, ask yourself whether this 'pay rise' could be achieved by moving elsewhere and where you will be valued from the start not just because you have threatened to leave.
2) Set yourself a timeframe for job hunting and applications
If you have decided that a new job is what you want, do not jump into the process without making sure you are in the right mindset. Get your CV up to date and start looking at the types of roles and organistaions you are interested in. Be open to different platforms or fields of speciality so you can make notes of the jobs and the skills needed. Use the first few weeks of the process to research the market. Depending on your circumstance, be realistic about when change can happen. Set a timetable for applications to begin, interviews to happen and when you would like to be sat in that new job. This can be over the next few weeks, months or years, but setting targets will help you focus.
3) Schedule proper time for the admin
Changing job is not something to do lightly and the process should not be rushed. Do not fall into the trap of applying for jobs during lunch breaks or on journeys home from work. Make sure you structure your week with time set aside for this process. Applying for jobs is exhausting and a bit boring, so you need to give proper time for it, without it becoming too arduous. Put time in your diary/calendar and set this aside to focus on your applications. Do it in small chunks, rather than a whole afternoon at the weekend. Breaking it down across the week will be better from a mindset point of view.
4) Understand this is not always a quick process
Some clients come to us asking to change jobs / careers with an intention of this happening straight away. However, many find it takes a bit longer. By this we mean months and sometimes years. It depends where you are in your career and how desperate your situation is of course. But if you make some progress it will help your mindset. Having job interviews can underline how much you want to stay where you are, or open up new possibilities. The whole process can prove hugely valuable in many ways. Ensuring you feel like there is some progress being made is key, whether that is getting your CV up to date, chatting to prospective employers or having job interviews and job offers.
Ultimately the process of applying for jobs is a lonely one, as well as tiring. Make sure you talk to people around you, but if you need support from experts in the media industry, get in touch with us to see how we can work together to achieve your goals. Good luck in making that next step!