While many people are probably anticipating enjoyment of New Year’s eve celebrations and possibly their favorite sporting or other events associated with New Year’s day, you might be thinking instead of your upcoming job search–and wishing you could just relax and enjoy the holidays!
If you’ve so far neglected to get a December head-start on your job search, it’s not necessarily too late. Worst case, you can at least prepare to leap off the starting-block on January 2, while your competitors are (you hope) still recovering from the celebrations. I’d like to share a few thoughts about practical steps you can take in that direction.
New year’s resolutions have amassed a notorious record for being broken soon after being made. If you haven’t yet done so, take a look back at your 2016 goals–particularly those related to your job and career management status. Did you achieve them 100%? If so, you probably deserve a big pat on the back! If not, how well or poorly did you do? Did you fail to assign milestones or deadlines for your goals?
Another point to consider is whether your career goals for the year were either too ambitious (maybe even wildly unrealistic) or too modest (easy to achieve, but not generating a big impact on your career success this year). For instance, you might have overlooked the fact that other people (family members, etc.) would have a stake in your choices, one way or another. That misstep might have prevented you from accomplishing a particular goal.
There’s no sense in setting yourself up for failure by establishing goals that are almost certainly unattainable in your lifetime. As just one example, if you target a career change that requires several years of education, exams to pass, etc., and you’re currently maybe 5-10 years from retirement, the odds of successful implementation will drop like a stone.
Don’t resign yourself to continuing in a situation that makes you feel frustrated, unappreciated, or otherwise stuck in a bad spot. However, don’t blind yourself to reality, either. Take a smart approach to your career planning for 2017.
If you fell short on 2016 goals and want to be in a better place at the end of the coming year, don’t let yourself dwell on the year’s “failures.” Instead focus on not repeating them in the months ahead.
You don’t need or want to measure your success by comparing yourself to other people. Their situations might be much different from yours, even though it’s not obvious to you. Concentrate on what you need to do to make yourself a standout candidate for prospective employers and make sure those actions are included in your career planning.
Keep in mind this critical point: A career goal that’s challenging but at least conceivable might be just the ticket for getting you unstuck and moving in a desirable direction. Decide what you need to do about it–and then get moving. The prize is only yours if you pursue it with determination and clarity of purpose.
Make 2017 the year you can look back on with pride and satisfaction.
P.S. This will be my last blog post for 2016. My best wishes to you for success in the coming year! (Let me know if there’s any way I can help with that.)