Learn how to stick to your New Year’s resolution to change your career this year.
Can you believe it’s already February? It seems like only last week we were sending out season’s greetings and declaring our New Year's resolutions.
If you’re like many people out there, you may have already lost sight of the goals you set at the beginning of January. If your career resolutions have been usurped by work deadlines and children’s play dates, it’s time to recommit to your goals. Use these tips to get your job search back on track.
Write out your plan
Whether your goal is to get promoted or change careers entirely, do the legwork before jumping into action. A goal without a plan won’t get you far. When you take the time to think through your goals, you make it a lot easier to set the right strategy. Write down your goal and include the reasons why you want to achieve it. Also answer these questions on paper: If you were to successfully complete this goal, how would your life be different? What would happen? By simply writing down your goal and forming a plan, you are more likely to achieve it.
The job search can be incredibly overwhelming. To keep yourself motivated, create smaller milestones to strive for each and every week. For instance, you might give yourself a deadline to update your resume or complete an online course. Hold yourself accountable to certain tasks each week, such as applying to well-fitted opportunities or conducting informational interviews. As you accomplish these mini-goals, give yourself a little reward. Consider small ways to pamper yourself like an evening out with friends or something as simple as a luxurious bubble bath.
Create a contract
It’s easier to hold yourself accountable when you share your goals with others. There a number of ways you can involve your loved ones – or even strangers – to help you stay on track. For instance, create a contract that states your goals and what you’re prepared to do to achieve them. You can also share your goals through one of your social networks (dedicated to personal use) and update your connections once a week on your progress. If you’re looking for a different type of incentive, consider commitment contract sites like stickK.com where you agree to donate money to a charity you oppose, should you derail from your plans.
There are a number of face-to-face and virtual associations out there to not only boost your career goals, but also provide a different kind of support you might not find in your office or at home. Consider joining a professional organization such as National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), Step Up Women’s Network (SUWN) or a group that’s geared specifically for job-search so you have a larger support group.
There are going to be times when life gets in the way of your plans. And that’s okay. The most important thing to do is not give up when you hit a roadblock. Take a step back, reevaluate your plan, and make adjustments if necessary. Don’t let one hiccup - or three - stop you from achieving your goals.
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.