It’s that time of year, isn’t it. The first week back after the Christmas break.
We’ve got used to taking our time in the mornings, no rushing around for the school run or the commute to work.
Then Bam! It hits you.
That painful commute. That dreary meeting. That boring report to finish.
When really, quite frankly, you’d much rather be somewhere else or doing something else.
Today is THE day to take positive action
If you’ve got the New Year blues, and you want to get yourself a new job, today is THE day to take positive action.
Because if you wait until tomorrow, you’ll get caught up in budget planning, client feedback reviews or finalising the draft of the new comms plan.
Suddenly before you know it, it’s half term and you’ve not actually got anywhere with your job search.
And then you’re all cross and frustrated because you missed out on the peak time for new jobs to be advertised.
5 easy ways to kick start your job search
So to get you started, I have come up with 5 easy ways to kick start your job search.
Each one could take as little as 5 minutes. You could do them all today. Or do one a day for the next five days. Or one week over the next five weeks.
How you kick start your job search is up to you. What’s important is that you get started, TODAY.
1. Get clear on what’s most important to you
This is what always produces the most lightbulb moments, in my workshops and in my Career Club.
Get clear on your core values. Discover what’s most important to you about how you live your life.
Is it stability and security? Or freedom and flexibility? Or perhaps for you, it’s creativity and independence.
Once you understand what’s most important to you, it will make job hunting decisions SO much easier because you’ll be able to see straight away whether or not a particular job or employer is a good fit.
2. Update your LinkedIn headline
Updating your whole LinkedIn profile might seem daunting. So where can you get the most bang for your buck to attract more of the right opportunities to your LinkedIn profile?
It’s your headline.
- Your professional headline needs to reflect your experience and expertise e.g. Experienced Marketing Project Manager or Award-Winning Lawyer or Social Media Expert rather than your job title e.g. Practice Manager.
- It needs to tell an immediate story of who you are, what you do and how you do it.
- Take into account the keywords that a potential employer or client might search for and include 2 or 3 of those in your professional headline.
- Be aware that you are limited to 120 characters (unless you’re on an iPhone or iPad).
Check this article here for more tips on how to write a powerful LinkedIn headline.
3. Reach out to former work colleagues
Take 5 minutes and reach out to former work colleagues (via LinkedIn or Facebook or email) and tell them you are looking to explore new opportunities.
This one is so quick and easy, I’ll be really cross if you don’t do this one today. And it’s one you can repeat every day for the next few days. (Not reaching out to the same work colleagues, choose different ones each day, obvs.)
Yes OK, it’s unlikely to get you a new job straight away (though you never know). What’s important is that it gets you started with a baby step that is simple and straightforward.
Not sure what to say? Because sometimes it’s easier to edit somebody else’s email than start from scratch, here’s the wording I suggest to my Career Club members:
“Hi Jane, Happy New Year, I hope you’re well. I’m exploring my career opportunities. I’d love to catch up over a coffee. In the meantime, please let me know if you hear of any suitable openings at your firm or elsewhere in the City.”
4. Create a Hell Yes, Hell No list
Another popular activity in the Career Club.
Create your Hell Yes, Hell No list.
Get a clean sheet of paper – divide it into 3 columns. At the top of column 1, write ‘Hell Yes‘, column 2 ‘Hell No‘ and the 3rd column ‘Maybe‘.
Write down all the things you LOVE about work in the Hell Yes column. Is it working with Excel spreadsheets, talking to customers, problem-solving, being part of a team, fast pace …
Think too about the environment – do you love the hustle & bustle of a busy office or do you prefer a calm atmosphere?
In the Hell No column, write down all the things you hate. Maybe it’s working with Excel spreadsheets, or talking to customers … we’re all different. What one person loves, another person hates.
Anything you’re not fussed about, goes in the Maybe column.
Is your Hell Yes list much longer? That’s ok. That’s normal.
5. Write down your proudest achievements
Obviously you’ll need to polish your CV (as well as your LinkedIn profile) if you’re starting to job hunt. That’s a given, right. You’ll find lots of great articles and resources on my website to help you with this.
Fixing your CV is likely to take more than 5 minutes so BEFORE you do that, take 5 minutes to write down your proudest achievements at work.
Maybe it’s a troubled project you took over. A new certification that you passed. A difficult client that you handled well. A new team that you lead.
Think about what’s been your biggest challenge or your worst mistake and what you learnt from it.
If you can’t remember what you’ve done over the past couple of years, here’s what I tell all my clients: Keep an achievements log.
At the end of every month take 2-3 minutes to jot down your key achievements that month. Over time this builds into a strong portfolio of your strengths and achievements that you can refer back to when you’re going for promotion, asking for a payrise, or job hunting.
You only need 5 minutes to kick start your job search
I have deliberately chosen 5 things that you can do in 5 minutes to kick start your job search (though you may get engrossed and take longer than 5 minutes, and that’s OK too).
However take 5 minutes of each of these activities – your values, your LinkedIn profile, reaching out to former work colleagues, your Hell Yes, Hell No list and your proudest achievements, this will kick start your job search so that you find work you love.
The key here is that you are TAKING ACTION and action creates energy. Energy WILL kick start your job search.
I’d love to hear how you get on with your job search.
p.s. If this has made you realise you could do with some support, guidance and accountability, check out the Career Club, my online membership community for women who want to make the next career move.