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Jumpstarting Your Job Search in the New Year

In the back of your head, there’s been a little voice telling you to get back out there and find a new job.

But you’ve always got a big project deadline coming up. Or your waiting for the perfect role to fall into your lap. You’re expecting a promotion. You want to stick around for your bonus.

Over time, that little voice gets quieted, and you think, “You know what, I’ll just wait until next year.”

Well, soon, it will be that next year, and you won’t have even started looking! In this post, we’re sharing eight strategies you can use to kickstart your search in the new year.

You can knock them all at once — a great time to do that is the holiday break — or just take it one step at a time. Let’s dive in.

8 Job Search Tips You Can Start Today

1. Take Advantage of the Holiday Downtime

Many folks have a week or two off during the holidays. Of course, spend time with your loved ones, but the in-between moments are an opportune time to learn a new skill, finish that certification training you’ve been putting off, set some goals, and perhaps most importantly, zero in on what you want — more on that next.

2. Hone In On Your Ideal Role

The most important aspect of the job search is knowing what you want. Without that North Star, it’ll be tough to narrow your search to the roles that truly fit your wants and needs.

So, make a list. What do you love about your career? What do you not like so much?

What are some green flags when it comes to company culture? What are your income goals? Do you care about your next title?

What is a must-have benefit? Do you want to work in an onsite, hybrid, or fully remote environment?

This list will serve as a reference point during your search and help you hit the ground running.

3. Update Your LinkedIn and Resume

Add more bullets to your LinkedIn and resume to reflect your latest accomplishments and the attributes hiring managers might seek in your ideal role. Activate the “Open to Work” filter on LinkedIn (don’t worry, there’s a setting to mask the filter from other people who work at your company). And lastly, update your headshot. Treat yourself to a photo shoot or leverage a free AI tool to spruce up one of your recent pictures.

4. Take Stock of Your Connections

Take your LinkedIn updates a step further and see who you’re connected with. Do any of those people have first-degree connections to folks who have your dream job? Could you ask them for an introduction?

Share how much you admire that person and ask if you could take them out for coffee to learn more about their career. Be sure to have your elevator pitch ready to go — not only for these coffee chats but for holiday parties. You never know who you’re going to meet!

5. Brush Up Your Interview Skills

Now is a great time to whip out sample interview questions and practice your answers in front of the mirror. If you don’t have any on hand, do a quick Google search or ask chatGPT.

This exercise will help you memorize the key anecdotes and metrics you want to present in a real interview while still coming off as natural and unscripted. Once you’ve practiced alone, ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you and listen to their feedback.

Finally, create a list of questions you’ll want to ask interviewers. Go back to what you jotted down about your ideal role for inspiration.

6. Find a Professional Mentor

Chances are, one of those informal coffee chats will be a fantastic conversation. So keep it going. Set up reminders to reach out to the person to see how everything is going and, if they’re open to it, ask them questions like:

  • What certifications did you get?
  • What did it take to get from x level to y level?
  • What are your suggestions for improving z skill?

They’ll have some valuable feedback you can incorporate into your job search prep. Note that mentoring is a mutual decision — the person needs to want to mentor you as much as you want them to mentor you.

7. Remain Open

Although it’s necessary to have a list of what you want, don’t hang on to it too tightly. Getting hung up on titles and industries and 100% remote environments may cause you to overlook perfectly good roles and put you into a more competitive category.

Think more about the qualities of the position and the company and what skills you could transfer to a role you may not have expected to pursue. This will broaden your job search and increase your chances of finding something you might like.

8. Seek Inspiration

Find resources that will drive you to action. Maybe you enjoy listening to podcasts — find one that will give you some job-hunting tips and motivate you to do some of the things on this list. Read a book about the industry you want to be in. Putting yourself in a growth mindset state will inspire and encourage you to take action.

Kickoff Your Search Now

When it comes to starting your search, it’s tempting to wait. But just like most things, there will never be an ideal time to start. The best time is now.

These strategies will help you get and stay ahead — ensuring that by next year, you’ll be sitting at your desk, thanking yourself for landing a new job.

And if you need support on that journey, we’re here to help. Contact us at Planet Professional to set up a call today.

Photo Credit: Canva

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