Christmas and New Year are almost over and now you find yourself in the same position you were in last year. We all know that 2020 was not easy on anyone and unfortunately, the amount of job seekers in 2020 seem to have risen due to these unique circumstances. Whether you have been on your job seeker journey for a while or your job has been negatively impacted by Covid-19, there are loads of things you can do in the new year to ensure that you start the year on a positive note! We have some tips and advice on how you can leave 2020 behind you and continue to look forward and smash your job search targets in 2021!
There’s always something new to learn when it comes to careers, so try and get your hands on some new skills to progress your job search further. If there’s some latest software that would be helpful on your CV, buy it (if you can) and learn it. There may even be a free trial online, so shop about!
Are there any talks you can attend soon or books/blogs you can read and catch up on? Check to see if there are any online training courses, get signed up! January is an extremely popular time of year for job hunting, so plenty of courses online may be discounted. If you’re employed, ask your current employer if they have any internal training events coming up – you may be able to take advantage of these before you leave.
The IET’s Academy is a mobile 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!
Stick to it
Last year, you may have felt like you weren’t getting anywhere with your job search. If this is the case, then you should either be more patient or change your job seeking strategy altogether. Have you stopped tailoring your CV for each individual role you’re applying to, or have you given up on the idea of a personalised cover letter to the prospective employer? Job seeking takes a lot of patience, determination and work! Stick to it and you’ll eventually get what you’re looking for.
Don’t set unrealistic goals and resolutions
One thing a lot of people do in the new year, is set resolutions. If these resolutions have anything to do with your job search, don’t try and rush them. Everything worth doing, takes time and dedication. One problem you may cause yourself is setting 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 running in January, that you have a plan. Unrealistic goals can cause you to feel unmotivated if you don’t hit them. Especially in what can seem like such a hard time of year. Cut yourself some slack and take it one step at a time. You will see the difference.
Never compare yourself to others
Everyone’s job seeker journey will be different, and you shouldn’t spend your time comparing yourself to others. They could be further along in the job seeking journey for various different reasons. They could have started before you, be in a different field of work, there are many reasons why you could think they would be ‘ahead’ of you. However, comparing yourself to other people can really affect how you feel about yours. You should spend time congratulating them, but also use them as motivation to get where you want to be. You should be happy with any progress you have made.
Try and get straight into a routine
After a break, it can sometimes be hard 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. It can be hard to suddenly take on everything at once so try and set out a routine for yourself. It can be as simple as getting up at a certain time every day, getting ready and heading straight to your computer or desk to log into recruitment sites. Something that creates a bit of structure to your day will be good, whatever you decide to do.
Then there’s 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 CRMs/CMSs 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
It’s understandable that this year you may have hit a bump in the road because of Covid-19. You’re not alone here and it’s okay to feel a bit behind. However, that doesn’t mean that the outcomes of 2020 need to affect your future search. These things happen and looking back and understanding why you didn’t succeed is important but looking back and dwelling on your situation isn’t going to help anything. Your struggles are there to help you move forward and this can be the catalyst you needed 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 okay about your situation but take those 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!