12 DAYS OF XMAS TASKS
‘Tis the season to review your career. Follow this advice from SEEK
NO MATTER how happy a worker is in their job, they always need to stay open to opportunities because they never know what life – or Father Christmas – may bring.
With traditional “December downtime” in many workplaces on its way, workers are urged to use the 12 days leading up to or after Christmas for a career check-in to reflect on what has been done in the past year and find where they are headed in 2019.
Starting on Day 1, knock off one of these tasks each day and enter the New Year ready for opportunity, whether it is with an existing employer or a new job.
1 Think about what has happened during the year, or career to date, and where future ambitions lie. Consider making a mind map to visually organise thoughts.
Write down the five biggest wins achieved in the past year and identify your unique selling point (USP) to employers.
2 Ask around, read up on industry reports or Google opportunities and work conditions in your industry. Consider how much similar roles are paying, the new skills required in the industry, and the types of roles that are currently being advertised.
UPDATE THE CAREER PLAN
3 A written career plan helps workers get ahead. Set out goals and action points for the next 12 months.
Kickstart the process by writing down three goals to achieve – try for a salary goal, a learning goal and a taskfocused goal.
COLLECT CREDENTIALS AND DOCUMENTATION
4 This may not just be a stocktake of qualifications already obtained, but is about seeking references, asking for endorsements from colleagues and clients, and collating examples of great work that you have done.
ORGANISE AND STORE
5 Find the right repository to store the content that was collected in yesterday’s task. Cloud storage tools such as Dropbox or Google Drive can be good options to keep career assets together and can be easy to share with prospective employers, should an opportunity arise.
HAVE AN ELEVATOR PITCH
6 Go back to the career plan and USP compiled on Days 1 and 3 and understand your brand.
Use it to write a killer “30-second elevator speech” – a summary of why you are an employer’s next hire.
REVAMP YOUR RESUME
7 An updated resume highlights your latest achievements, as well as goals outlined in your career plan, your unique selling point and your elevator pitch. Add highlights from the year.
Read up on new resume trends to ensure your document is modern and presents the right information.
UPDATE YOUR COVER LETTER TEMPLATE
8 Write a new cover letter to use as a template when next applying for a job. When that time comes, it will just be a matter of adding building blocks, such as tailoring the cover letter to the position being applied for, then sending it off.
CREATE OR UPDATE A SEEK PROFILE
9 Employers and headhunters regularly search online profiles looking for passive candidates who may be interested in an opportunity if it comes to them.
There is no harm in being noticed by recruiters and employers, even if you are not in the market for a job right now or not interested in a role that is suggested to you.
NURTURE YOUR NETWORK
10 There is never a better time to find and reconnect with old colleagues and new acquaintances by sending them an eCard or a good old-fashioned paper one for Christmas.
HIT THE BOOKS
11 Look for courses to fill gaps in your knowledge or resume, or to add to existing skills. It could be completing an online webinar, finding a conference to attend next year, or enrolling in a short course, or university degree. If unsure where to start, look at job advertisements to determine the skills in need.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAKEOVER
12 Start by Googling yourself – do not stop at page 1, see what lurks a few pages in, as well as on the image search. Employers do Google potential workers, so ensure anything they find is portraying the right image.
THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON SEEK CAREER ADVICE