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New year, new job?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 2 Jan 2023

New Year New Job engineering careers

The idea of a change in the new year can be really exciting. Most people have had a nice break over the Christmas holidays and they’re looking for something to drive and motivate them throughout the new year. What better time to start your job search than now?

A lot of people like to start the new year with new ambitions and for many, that may mean a new role. If you’ve been job seeking for a while, take the time to reflect on what you achieved last year and how you can improve it from here on out, to ensure that you get the job you are looking for. 2022 may have been a difficult year for many, for a lot of different reasons and although you wish away any negativity, you can move on with your job search and set new goals. January is as good a time as any to job search, especially after a nice break. So hopefully you’re feeling rested. We have some tips and advice on how you can reach your job goals in 2023. 

Learn more

There’s always something new to learn. Engineering and technology are always changing and developing. It’s likely that once you’ve learnt something new, it’s already time to move onto the next software or idea and start again. Your skills need to be developed and updated, upskilling yourself is an important way of ensuring you are able to keep on track with your personal development plan and stay in touch with industry trends. 

You can start your year off by enrolling in online courses, learning through your current employer, or joining a network and learning from other professionals. We all learn in different ways, so make sure you are doing what is best for you. Take a look at your CV, check what skills employers are looking for and if you see anything that may need some extra training. That’s a good place to start. 

You can look online for free courses, webinars, events and more. January is a very popular time to learn, with many different courses offering discounts or even free trials, so take a look at what’s out there! The IET’s Academy is an online training resource where engineers can access trusted, expert courses designed for engineers. So, if you think you are ready to learn something new this year, Click here to see what Academy can help you with! Make sure you aren’t being left behind. 

Start from scratch

Whether you started your job search last year, a few months ago or just now, it’s a good idea to start from scratch. Dust off your CV and make sure it is 100% up-to-date with your latest employment, skills, and personal statement. Even if your CV was updated recently, take another look, there may be something you had missed. 

Take some time to reflect on your strategy. How were you searching for jobs before and where did it get you? Were you just sticking to job search websites, or did you have a recruiter helping you? There are so many different ways to look for a job and many activities you can get involved in, so make sure you try something new. If it wasn’t working before, switch it up and find something that does work for you. 

It can be important to push the restart button but it’s equally as important to remember what you’ve already done. Just because it’s a new year, doesn’t mean you should forget about the things you’ve already done. Make sure you keep note of all the jobs you’ve applied for in the past and don’t apply again. It can be easy to forget but look incredibly sloppy from your end. 

Don’t give up - although it can feel like a mammoth task, job hunting is a race but not in any way a sprint. 

Don’t set unrealistic goals and resolutions

One thing a lot of people do in the new year is set resolutions. It’s always good to have goals, but make sure they are achievable. If you set unrealistic targets, you’re going to feel horrible when you don’t achieve them and that says nothing about you and your abilities! Don’t set yourself goals in a time frame that is just near enough impossible to reach. Some things simply take more time than others, so make sure, before you get back up and run headfirst into January, that you have a plan.

Just make sure you are being kind to yourself, setting goals you can achieve and be patient. A job search takes time, practice, and patience. it doesn’t just happen overnight and if it does, it’s probably not the right job for you.

Never compare yourself to others

Everyone’s job search is different, and we all have different skills and ways of learning. Job seeking is definitely a skill, and it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. We all need to know what we are looking for and how to get it, but this skill comes with time and practice. Like other skills, we all have different ways of learning. Some learn by watching others and some learn by simply getting out and doing it yourself. So don’t compare your abilities to anyone else’s. 

Comparing your job search to someone else’ can really affect how you feel about yours. If someone has found success, you should spend time congratulating them, but also use them as motivation to get where you want to be. You should be happy with their achievements and your own, even if yours aren’t the same as theirs yet.  

Try and find the routine right for you

After a break, it can feel difficult to get straight back into the routine you had last year. So, try and take your time and ease yourself into it, do a little bit every day and slowly build your workload as you feel comfortable. or find a new way of doing things? You may not have had much luck with your previous way of working, so why not trying something new?

It can be as easy as starting a list every morning and going from there. We all have enough to do in our everyday lives, so if you need some extra time to get back into the wing of things, then that's okay. 

Don’t forget about the basics

This sounds fairly obvious and is usually the first step many job seekers make but take another look at things like your CV and social media profiles. LinkedIn can be vital for some jobseekers, so make sure you are updating your profile properly. Change your profile picture and your description, take the time to look over your employment information and see if you could make the text more appealing. Everything can be done better with a fresh mind. LinkedIn is all about key words, so use as many of these as possible (such as particular CADs/CAMs or other software names)

As for your CV, try and go in with an open mind. You’ll be surprised how much information on your CV is no longer relevant. Once you get rid of the things that you don’t think will excite employers, use your free space to include more achievements and some of those new skills you have learnt! You don’t need to do this in one sitting, it can be hard to critique your own work.

If you have a portfolio, make sure you have a look through it and give it a refresh. Add in your most recent projects and make sure it’s organised from latest to earliest. It can be good to have both a digital and hard copy of this to take to interviews and email to employers as part of an application.

Constantly try and look forward

This year’s been a tough one. There’s been hurdles that we’ve all had to face, both in our professional and personal lives. It’s okay to hit a bump in the road, but after you fall down, you should get back up and carry on your journey. The outcomes of this year shouldn’t affect the next. 

Take your experiences, look back and understand why you didn’t reach your goals. From there, you can learn from that and find a way to hit your targets. Your struggles are there to help you move forward and this can be the catalyst you need to really boost your ambition and go for a job you really want.

It may seem like a cliché, but things really do happen for a reason. Every single thing you go through and even the smallest of challenges can help your drive and motivation to get where you want to be. It’s okay to not always feel motivated and ready for the next interview but take those negative feelings in your stride and keep going. Competition can always be a little fierce, but with the right mindset, you can do it. New year, new job, as the job-hunting cliché goes!