The start of the year is the perfect time to pursue what you want in a job and jumpstart an amazing career. Whether you feel unsatisfied with your current job or believe that you should be trying out other career paths, the holiday season should have given you downtime to mull things over.
Now that the new year has kicked in, most people are optimistic about finding jobs. In a poll by the global career experts, Right Management, it was found that 4 out of 5 employees plan to pursue new career opportunities in 2015. Kristy Stromberg, senior vice president of marketing for job search engine SimplyHired, explains, “The holidays are over and people are thinking about how they can improve their lives. We all spend so much time at work, finding a new job is a great way to make a positive change.”
To add to that, January and February mark a busy time for job opportunities as businesses will need additional employees to help them kick start new projects and initiatives laid out for the year. CareerBuilder, in their annual job forecast, declared that more than one third of employers expect to add full-time, permanent employees in 2015, making the employment market, in fact, the strongest it’s been in six years.
With all of these, you better move fast and strike while the market is hot. Here are the tips that you will need for a successful job hunt:
1. Make every minute count. With hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants and job openings right now, there is no time to lose. Spend at least 75 percent of your job search activities in focused networking. While countless online job sites and job fairs have opened, nothing says effective like gaining the boss’s approval by having people refer you to a job post.
Most people dismiss this and say they simply have no time to do it. However, do not underestimate the power of small blocks of time. A five-minute window can make a world of difference, if utilized properly. Log in your accounts, build up your professional online presence, and get social. Pass on good information to people who might need it. Make a plan to meet at least three new people when at an event. Come up with a dynamic opener to conversations. There are plenty of things you can do in such a minute span of time. You just need to get going and be busy.
2. Always be proactive. Maximize all your resources and do not come up with excuses. In this digital age, you have the technology you need at your fingertips. Look up what is happening in the market now. For instance, the hottest industries for hiring are information technology, financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare, according to CareerBuilder. Companies will need more manpower sales, data analysis, and customer service, what with the increasing importance of revenue growth, digital innovation, and customer loyalty.
3. Analyze what you can bring to the table. All job sites and career coaches will be futile if you cannot wield the most important tool that you have — yourself. Now is the time for you to sit down and ponder on what you have and what you want to have. Think about your biggest accomplishment to date, collaborations and relationships, things to finish, and matters that get you going.
4. Always find ways to be indispensable. Learn from the words of Babe Ruth: “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” Your achievements in your previous job may have earned you your due, but do not stop there. Sharpen and broaden your skills. Make excellence your habit. Better yet, make it your signature. You may be used to the same kind of tasks, but bring something new to the table. Ask yourself, “What will be my contribution here?”
Put yourself in the shoes of prospect employers. Present to them why they should hire you and what’s in it for them. As aforementioned, customer loyalty is one the in-demand fields that companies are looking to fill job vacancies. This should not come as a surprise: customers are now increasingly becoming aware that they have an important say in a business. With this example, if you are looking for a contact center job, keep in mind that call center agents are the front liners of brands that aim to build a strong relationship with their consumers. This is no easy task, but present yourself as someone who is capable of more than doing the job and that you can anticipate the concerns and questions that customers may ask. You can also show them that you understand how your empathy with customers makes you more than an agent, but the human face of the brand.
5. No matter how advanced you get, never forget the basics. You will be surprised how executing simple steps outstandingly can help you. Take writing cover letters. A well-written one can spell employment for those who do not take such things for granted.
6. Remain positive. Keep up the high spirits you got from starting the new year with the resolve of making things better. Being positive is vital to your career prospects. Employers get people that they like in terms of qualifications and outlook. Naturally, if you feel negative or unenthusiastic, either it will rub off on your interviewer or they could see your attitude as a potential problem.
7. Be open to opportunities. Times are changing and increasingly, more windows are opening up. There may be times when you encounter job openings that you are not exactly excited about, but still, look at it. The recruiter may know another opportunity. You can also forward it to a friend, whom you can add to your network. As emphasized earlier, networking will get you somewhere. It is your professional support system in that it is a thriving avenue of opportunities that you just need to tap.
The start of the year and the positive employment market signal that the odds are in your favor. Stay positive, follow these tips, and take the plunge. See where 2015 takes you.