New year, new job?

published 01 09 2020

3 minute read time

How to make the most of your current position and what to do when the joy is gone.

As you ring in the new year and set resolutions for 2020, it may be time to take a close look at your career goals.  For some, this could mean a job search and for others, it could mean prospering in your current role.  Either way, it is important to make the most of the position you have now so that when you do start to consider your next move, you are well-prepared.  Here are some ways to maximize your role now as well as steps to start your job search when you know it’s time to go.

Finding the Joy:  Making the most of your current position.

  • Develop new skills by taking on projects outside of your job description.
  • Hold yourself accountable to goals and keep track of successes on a resume or an appendix – this will be helpful when you start interviewing and need measurable examples to talk about.
  • Seek out professional development opportunities – join boards and associations to develop leadership skills through volunteer work .
  • Advocate for a promotion – if you are at a larger organization there may be a next step up available or if you have taken on additional responsibilities, this could justify a title change.
  • Try to stay for at least three years – if that is not possible, make sure you do not move often; those hiring want to see longevity in your positions and won’t want to worry about you leaving soon if they hire you.
  • Network – developing a group of colleagues with similar experiences can be invaluable when it comes to advice and brainstorming for new ideas to help you do your job better.  Having a strong network is also good for job opportunities and introductions.  Your next job could come from people you know!

When the Joy is Gone:  Starting your job search.

  • STEP 1 – Make sure your resume is great.  Use these tips for resume dos and don’ts.
  • STEP 2 – Research jobs that excite you and think about why.
    • Is it the scope of responsibility? Or the type of organizations?
    • Are you hoping to move up in title or make a lateral move to a larger or more interesting organization?
    • Are you open to relocation? If not, how far are you willing to commute?
    • If you know the parameters of your search, you can help narrow the number of positions that are really a good fit.
  • STEP 3 – Connect with your network.  This could include:
    • Colleagues who you trust
    • Mentors
    • Search firms that know you or that you want to get to know
  • STEP 4 – Stay positive.
    • Never badmouth your current organization, no matter how bad it is.
    • Be honest about why you are looking (practice this with a friend to see if how you are saying it seems positive and makes sense for your career).
  • STEP 5 – Develop a plan (with milestones) about finding your next position.
    • How many people you should meet per month who might be helpful
    • How many postings you should follow up with/become a candidate for
    • Don’t forget to reward yourself – take a break from looking, have a certain number of hours per week you do this (but don’t go overboard or it can get overwhelming)

Ideally, you are happy in your current position, enjoy the colleagues you are working with, and are passionate about the mission of the organization and proud to be working for it.  But sometimes circumstances change, and you might want to test the water by looking at other opportunities.  When that time comes, we hope this information will be a helpful guide to your next career role.

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