Learn a new language, take dance lessons, eat healthier, exercise more... or just exercise, period! Those are just some of the many new year’s resolutions which many of us will struggle to keep by the end of the month.
If one of your 2018 goals is to get a new job, here are 3 resolutions which will help you keep that promise.
A common mistake that most people make in searching for a new opportunity is to wait to network until they need a job.
That scenario is full of stress for both you and the recruiters, who might not have an opening available which suits you. Your approach should be one where you’re constantly meeting and greeting people not just for present possibilities, but more importantly, future ones.
I transitioned from NBC/Telemundo to CBS thanks in part to a 20-minute conversation I had with the hiring manager six months before being invited to interview for the Managing Editor position. A mutual colleague introduced us because I wanted to learn more about that newsroom culture. The initial meeting not only provided me with valuable information, but an opportunity to market myself and make a good impression.
It is important to understand that there’s probably a shortlist of candidates by the time a job is posted in a career website. Continuously networking keeps you top of mind for occupations before they are made public.
Know Your Worth
Another common mistake I see job seekers make is how often they over or under sell themselves. A Linkedin study found that men toot their own horns more often than women. Even when they had the same job and skillset, women would be more likely not to brag about their accomplishments.
Like in all things in life, balance is the key to success. It is equally important to be transparent about your development needs as you are about your strengths. In order to engage in candid conversations during job interviews, you first have to be honest with yourself.
A common practice I use to see if I am a strong candidate for a position I’m interested in is to conduct a personal litmus test. I look at the job description list of responsibilities and requirements and see how well I fare based on my experience. Simply put, I know I am a strong candidate if I meet 8 or better of the 10 responsibilities outlined. The job would be a stretch assignment for me if I only have 6 or better and I’m a long shot if I only have 5 or fewer of the skills necessary.
Employers are always looking for the most optimal candidate to hire, but they’re willing to take a chance and invest in people who need a little more seasoning if they show promise. Your ability to market yourself effectively is determined by how well you know yourself.
Don’t Make It About The Money
The worst mistake I see people make in finding a new job is money. If salary is the most important variable in your search, then you’re destined to be disappointed.
Compensation is important. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a good living. After all, it has a direct effect to our wellbeing and that of our families. But it should never be a substitute for our happiness at work. I know many people who took a job because it represented a better title, salary and are now miserable. The biweekly direct deposit they receive represents the price they were willing to trade for their happiness.
Most people I know left their company not because they were dissatisfied with the money they were making, but with the work they were doing. So, first focus on job satisfaction. We spend too many hours at the office, out in the field for it not to provide us with fulfillment. Make sure the job you’re pursuing not only represents an opportunity to use your skills and abilities, but also supplies you with space to grow. A great opportunity is one which nurtures professional relationships, enables you to affect business priorities and management who appreciates your contributions.
Besides, if you do your job well enough…money will soon follow.
So, good luck with those dance lessons (thank you, wife), eating healthy and exercising. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t keep those resolutions, but at least try to keep your new year/new job promise.
Hugo Balta is the Senior Director of Hispanic Initiatives at ESPN; his work focuses on collaborative projects across platforms and networks focused on best serving U.S. Hispanics. More articles like these on Straight Talk.