12 days of Christmas tips
’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 opportunity, as 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 an annual career check-in to reflect on what has been done in the past year and work out where they are headed in 2019.
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.
Day 1 – Reflect
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.
Day 2 – Research
Ask around, read up on industry reports or google the 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.
Day 3 – Update the career plan
A written career plan helps workers to 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 task-focused goal.
Day 4 – Collect credentials and documentation
This may not just be a stocktake of qualifications, but seeking references, asking for endorsements from colleagues and clients and collating examples of great work.
Day 5 – Organise and store
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.
Day 6 – Write/update an elevator pitch
Go back to the career plan and USP compiled on Days 1 and 3 and understand your brand. Use it to write a “30-second elevator speech” – a summary of why you should be hired.
Day 7 – Revamp the resume
An updated resume highlights latest achievements, as well as goals outlined in the career plan, your USP and elevator pitch.
Read up on new resume trends to ensure it is modern and presents the right information.
Day 8 – Update your cover letter template
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 details that tailor the cover letter to the position being applied for, then sending it off.
Day 9 – Create or update a SEEK profile
Employers and headhunters regularly search online profiles looking for passive candidates who may be interested in an opportunity if it comes to them.
Workers with up-to-date profiles attract more interest.
There is no harm in being noticed by recruiters and employers, even if a worker is not in the market for a job right now or not interested in the role that is suggested to them.
Day 10 – Nurture your network
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.
Day 11 – Hit the books
Look for courses to fill gaps in knowledge or your 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.
Day 12 – Complete a social media makeover
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.
DECEMBER DOWNTIME: Use the 12 days leading up to or after Christmas for an annual career check-in and work out where you are headed in the new year.