Do you get the urge to launch a self-improvement plan in the spring? It’s probably because you’ve spent the winter doing little more than sitting in your sweat pants watching Scandal or football or maybe both.
Think of your spring tune up as a warmer version of your New Year’s resolution – assuming you live in a part of the world that is subject to sub zero temperatures along with buckets of ice and snow. And let’s face it; you are probably one of the 80% of all people who dropped their New Year’s resolution by February.
So there’s no time like the present. The season of growth and renewal, spring is the perfect time to hit the reset button on your job search or on your career. While major hiring initiatives among employers tend to peak in January/February and September/October, those who are looking for a job need to be at the ready when an opportunity presents itself. Experts suggest that spring job seekers can capitalize on the January/February hiring momentum by actively working with recruiters and applying for new opportunities aggressively.
As the spring season comes to a close and summer begins, hiring initiatives come to an end. People start to plan their summer vacations and everyone slips into a more relaxed mode at work.
So what to do?
Dragon Slaying. Take a proper accounting of all your achievements. While it’s important to briefly list your skills and accomplishments on your resume, it’s just as important to create a detailed accounting of how you have successfully executed projects/programs. This list of “dragon slaying” stories is for your eyes only. Take the time to describe in detail how you saved your employer large sums of money on a project, or completed your program on time and within budget.
So when a potential employer wants to know how you’ve actually made a positive contribution at your job, you’ll be at the ready with some really great dragon slaying stories.
Buy New Professional/ Business Attire. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been on the hunt for a new job, or the job you have allows for more casual business attire, it’s time to think about upping your game before you head off to your interview.
The clothes you wear make a statement about you, without you saying a word. You need to own at least two suits that fit, and fit well. Your shoes should be buffed and shined. Keep jewelry to a minimum. This goes for both men and women. Ties and panty hose send a conservative message; so check out the company’s culture before making those kinds of wardrobe choices.
Get Engaged. Your job requires a lot of your time and you have a ton on your daily to-do list(s). We get it. But taking the time to upgrade your skills and knowledge will keep you sharp and ready to take on new challenges. Actions speak louder than words and potential employers can read between the lines. If you have a resume full of advanced classes and training, you are demonstrating your ability to take on new challenges. And if all else fails, volunteer. By volunteering you are connecting to your community and using your skills to better the lives of others along the way. You never know who you will meet, as you are paying it forward.
Blog About It. For those of us who did not grow up with an iPad in our crib(s), posting content on social media doesn’t come easy. Let’s break it down in very simple terms. If you’ve been working for awhile, you are good, maybe even great at your job. Most likely, you’ve probably got something to say about what it is that you do everyday. What does this mean? It means that everyone has a story to tell about what it is that they do everyday. And we don’t mean running the copy machine or browsing through content on your Facebook page.
It means that you can probably speak quite intelligently about the in’s and out’s what you do. You can probably even provide perspective, advice or details about the future regarding your work. For example, if you are an automotive engineer you can start a blog about how your field is changing and what you are doing to navigate those changes. Or, if you work in advertising, you might want to publish your thoughts on how to work creatively within a group to develop specific creative concepts. The possibilities are endless.
Blogging is about creating a personal brand. Personal branding is concept that we have addressed on this blog before. Blogs are an extremely powerful way for you to brand and market yourself to new employers. Intimidated? Don’t be. There are hundreds of resources on the web to help you get started blogging. Google on.
The nights are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Birds are chirping and everything is getting green. There’s no time like the present to make your spring resolutions count.