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2019: What will you resolve to change about your career?

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

It’s a frightening statistic that despite all those great resolutions that people make at the start of every year, just 20% of us will actually succeed in sticking to them past the month of March according to a study undertaken by BUPA.

So, rather than resolve to change things about your career that may be a tad on the grandiose side, what resolutions can you set that stand the best chance of being maintained for the whole year ahead?

1. Have a career plan

There is a saying that goes – If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail. There is a lot of truth in that – if you don’t know where you want to go in your career, how will you know when you get there? And when you do know what role you want to aim for next, what steps will you take to get it?

Create a list of those companies you would like to work for, contact their HR department or hiring manager and ask them if they’re currently recruiting. Likewise, register your details with the recruitment agencies who recruit for the type of role you would like to be doing next. Remember, not all vacancies will be advertised, so it’s definitely worth the call.

2. Update your CV

Picture the scene. A Candidate sees a role we’re advertising on our website and they call in to speak to the Consultant who is managing the recruiting process for that Employer. The Candidate sounds great, just what the client is looking for. So, we ask them to email us their CV. But guess what – it’s out of date.

Your CV is a marketing document that should provide an at-a-glance insight into your potential suitability for a specific job. Take time out to keep your CV updated because you never know when a great new role will come along. Don’t forget, CVs are like newspapers – you’re unlikely to read one that’s days or weeks out of date.

3. Expand your professional network (and put your new diary to better use)

In an ideal world, you’ll see a job that you like the look of and one which matches your skills and experience. You send off your application, get invited for an interview and receive an offer shortly afterwards. Successful job hunting rarely happens that way (not sure it ever has) and, in many instances, it is who you know that can often make all the difference.

Networking is an important yet often overlooked part of the job seeking process. It can involve a number of actions – attending local business events, professional networking groups or simply increasingly your visibility among your peers on sites such as LinkedIn.

The key is not to collect business cards or new connections as if they were going out of fashion; rather, it is about tapping into your existing network of contacts, seeing who else they know and to whom they can introduce you. Even if they’re not recruiting for people like you at the time, they may be soon or know someone else who is.

​4. Increase your skill set

If in 2018 you felt frustrated that you weren’t quite making the progress in your career that you wanted, it could be time to upskill yourself. Gone are the days when  progression in your career was something that came with time served .

Today’s jobs marketplace is the most competitive it has ever been. As such, the onus is on Candidates to understand the skills needed for the role they really want and then make a plan on how to acquire them. In doing so, the question then becomes when rather than if that illusive next great career move will come your way.

5. Finally, read…lots

Smartphone technology has literally put every story that was ever written in the palm of our hands. Yet, how often do you use it to check the news each day, read the latest stories affecting the sector in which you work, or watch a video/listen to a podcast that shares great insights into how to improve your everyday working life? The information is there for you and ignoring it is to weaken your prospects at an interview.

Indeed, Employers aren’t just looking for someone to ‘fill a job’. All roles exist because there is a need for it to solve a problem. Understanding what that problem may be is one thing, but you need to recognise the way in which the role impacts the rest of the business. This is where having a grasp on the daily news agenda can be beneficial - it can also spark new ideas of your own that could introduce to the business.

That’s our top five resolutions for 2019, what else would you add to the list?

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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