New Year career resolutions

Barry Whelan of Excel Recruitment offers some top tips on how to positively progress your career in the year ahead



16 January 2015

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Welcome to 2015, It is time to shake off the January blues and start to build some positive New Year career resolutions into your life. The market is most definitely on the up and it’s time to take advantage of this.

Stop applying for any and every job

Job seeking whether in employment or out of unemployment can feel desperate, but you must still be selective during a job search. Don’t submit job applications for postings for which you’re not qualified. You won’t have any positive results; employers are looking for a perfect match and applying for roles you’re not qualified for will only lead to rejection, which will affect confidence and the overall ability to find a role. And on the off-chance you do get the job, you might find yourself overwhelmed by your attempt to fill a role for which you’re not suited or qualified.

Protect your social media presence

If you can’t be found online at all or you’re sending the wrong message, this needs to be addressed. Safeguard your Twitter feed and Facebook timeline. Before you post a comment online, ask yourself the following questions: Is it silly, thoughtless or insensitive? How will this affect my company? How could this be interpreted by someone who doesn’t know me? Remember that anything you write – emails included – can be easily forwarded and read by someone you may not have intended to read them.

Stop ignoring your LinkedIn account

It is time to revive your LinkedIn account or to open one if you haven’t got one. This isn’t just a useful website when you’re job searching. LinkedIn is also critical for documenting your accomplishments, networking with current and prospective business contacts and staying up to speed on industry trends.

Don’t be a team of one

Remember that career success is communal. Are you switching careers? Tell your friends and family. Are you seeking education opportunities? Speak with your colleagues about previous courses they have taken. Are you struggling with how to handle a particular workplace challenge? Ask advice from a mentor. Relying solely on what you know could lead to unnecessary setbacks; take advice liberally.

Keep up with the latest news and trends

Staying out of the loop about your career and industry will lead colleagues and business associates to believe you’re uninformed, out of the loop or disinterested. Get interested in your industry.

Stop being passive about your salary

You have read the headlines. 2015 is the year of the rise. Remember attempting to negotiate a higher salary upon receiving a job offer doesn’t make you disagreeable, just don’t be a Celtic cub. If you’re currently employed and generating consistently stellar work, it’s understandable that you’re going to look for an increase in pay.

Don’t stop your job search once employed

Never rest on your laurels and then fail to network, keep your CV updated, or stay tuned into employment trends and job opportunities in your field. You don’t want to be caught unprepared for a sudden change of fortune.

Stop whining

Poor salary, bad boss, awful working hours? There are a myriad of reasons to be unhappy about your place of employment. Just be mindful of how quickly healthy venting turns into incessant complaining. Neither your professional nor personal circle will want to hear too much of your griping. If you are miserable at your job, make moves to find a new one.

Working while ill

No need to be a professional martyr. If you come into work sick, you are just patient zero of the workplace plague. Take the necessary time to recuperate at home; doing so will prevent you from spreading germs, and it could also keep you from making some cataclysmic, cold-medicine induced, career-damaging mistake.

Keep on learning

Your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Your degree, qualifications and on-the-job training will only take you so far. Any position’s relevant skills are fluid, and it’s easier to be constantly learning than to have to play catch-up.

Stop being a clock-watcher

While you’re at work, put in a full day’s work. If you arrive in the nick of time in the morning and pack up five minutes early in the afternoon, you are sending the message that you are just going through the motions. Making a positive impression, being seen as a team player and showing your boss (and fellow colleagues) you are invested in the company requires you to arrive early enough to make your first cup of coffee before the day begins and finish a project that is time-sensitive, regardless of what the clock says.




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