A new year is a great time to assess where you’re at professionally. Is it time for you to make a job change? Or a career change? This 21-day challenge is designed to help!
Last week’s blog which can be found here, introduced the New Year, New Job 21-Day Challenge. This week is a list of additional actions that can be taken for each step.
Where Are You Now?
- Pull together information for your brag book — a copy of your college or university transcript and certificates/diplomas, work samples, copies of awards or honors, testimonials about your work from supervisors and/or customers, etc.
- Review your social media profiles. Do they position you in the best light as a jobseeker? If not, scrub negative information. Delete any profiles you’re no longer using.
- Take some time to consider whether you want to pursue a new job or a new career. Create a “pro/con” list for each.
- Discover what you do best by taking a skills assessment, like the Clifton StrengthsFinder or DISC profile.
Where Are You Going?
- Think about what you would want your next job to do for you that your current job doesn’t. In other words, make a list of what will be different about your next job.
- Assess whether you have the skills, experience, and/or qualifications necessary for the job or career you want to pursue.
- Don’t just look for a job — look for a calling. Spend 15 minutes answering these three questions: What are you meant to do? How can you use your skills, education, and experience for maximum benefit? What kinds of problems could you solve for a company?
- Take a personality assessment (like the Holland Self-Directed Search, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) to figure out what type of work you’re best suited for.
What Sets You Apart?
- Write up a list of the honors and/or awards you’ve received.
- Prepare yourself to answer the question, “Tell me about yourself.”
- Write down your biggest professional accomplishment of the past year.
- Be prepared to answer questions about gaps in your employment, skills you don’t have that are necessary for the job/career you want, and why you left a job. Take some time to think through how you’d answer questions about these issues.
What’s Your Plan?
- Think about how you got your last job. Spend a few minutes identifying how you got your most recent job. (For example, were you networking at a professional association meeting?) Is that something you can try again?
- Identify the tools you will need for your job search. Make a list of things you need, or need to update, like your résumé and LinkedIn profile.
- Find an accountability partner. Who can you work with to support you during your job search? Maybe it’s enlisting your spouse, or a friend. Or maybe it’s hiring a career coach. Line that person up.
- Make a list of 10 companies you’d like to work for, whether or not they are actively advertising relevant openings right now.
- Brainstorm a list of people to reach out to that can provide ideas, information, and leads for your job search. If you have a Christmas card list, start there.
Let’s Do This!
- Update your résumé. Reach out to enlist the help of a professional résumé writer if needed.
- Create (or update) your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your résumé and LinkedIn profile are in alignment in terms of focus and content.
- Brainstorm a list of 25 keywords that you should include on your résumé to help it get through the applicant tracking system (ATS) software.
- Research recruiters who work in your target industry and send 3-5 of them a LinkedIn connection request.
- Apply for an advertised opening for a job you’re interested in.
Completing the 21-Day Challenge
At the end of the 21 days, review your progress. Do you have any leads on unadvertised openings? Any interviews or job offers yet? If not, don’t worry. The majority of this 21-day challenge is focused on preparing yourself for the job search, not conducting the job search.
Even if you’re not yet in your new job, celebrate your completion of the 21-day challenge! By sticking with the challenge, you’ve set yourself up for success in the new year.
To download this report in its entirety including a sample completed challenge and a blank planner for your use go to: