Considering a job change, or hoping to secure a pay rise or promotion? Here’s some expert advice to get you started.
The start of the year is typically a busy time for those looking for a fresh start in their career, whether that means searching for a new job, or seeking out opportunities where they currently work.
If the thought of waking up for work on a Monday morning fills you with dread, it could be a sign that it’s time for a change.
If you’re looking to boost your career with a promotion, pay rise or job change, Laura Holden, from jobs website Reed.co.uk, shares the following tips…
1. Set yourself career goals
The new year is a perfect time to reflect on the previous year, and plan for the future. When you have a clear sense of direction, you’re much more likely to achieve your goals. Set yourself realistic career goals and deadlines to achieve them by. If your ambition is to climb the career ladder, find out exactly what you need to do to get there. Creating a personal action plan is an effective way to monitor your progress.
It could simply be a list of five or six achievements you want to accomplish in the next six months – milestones to achieving your overall objectives. For example, if achieving a promotion is your overall objective, you might take a management course as part of one of the steps to get there. Keeping a record of what you’ve done will also come in handy when it’s time for those all important career conversations with your boss.
2. Regularly update your CV
When you’re in a secure, stable role, it’s easy to neglect your CV. But try not to let it gather dust until the next time you’re actively looking for work.
Treat your CV like a living document. As you improve professionally, so should your CV. If you complete a course, or take on new responsibilities in your current job, add these to your CV when they occur, rather than scrambling around a week before an interview to remember the exact details. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
3. Make meaningful connections
If you don’t already have a habit of building professional contacts, this is a good place to start in 2019. In a world of global connectivity, many employers expect you to have ready-made professional networks. So follow suit and maintain strong, positive relationships with the people you work with regularly.
Be proactive in your networking. Sign up to professional networking websites and connect with those you have worked with in the past. They may even give you a reference or testimonial if your experience working together was positive. Try to regularly engage with content from influencers in your industry to build your network further.
4. Learn a new skill
Why not learn something new in 2019? Boosting your skill-set will certainly help if you’re looking for a new role, or at the very least, boost your confidence when it comes to discussing a pay rise or promotion with your employer. Use the job descriptions of roles you aspire to as a reference. Pick out any key skills you don’t already have and find a professional development course that addresses these gaps.
5. Find a mentor
If your organisation doesn’t have a formal mentoring scheme, you can always suggest implementing one. Alternatively, consider approaching people directly who you would like to receive coaching from. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your boss. It could be someone who has experienced a similar career progression to yourself, or someone with specific technical skills.
A mentor is someone who can offer you advice and answer questions you may have about the organisation and offer career guidance. Be clear and up-front with your mentor about the kind of guidance you’re seeking. Chances are they’ve been in your position at some point, and will be able to share their experiences with you.
6. Find a new role
If you’re not satisfied in your current role, it may be time for a change. When you’ve decided to look for a new role it can be easy to put off applying. But very rarely does the perfect position come to you. Find a job you actually love – not just one that pays the bills.