10 career development resolutions that might actually make a difference!

Well, here we are again.  It’s that time of the year (the beginning) where you realise that you didn’t achieve every single one of last year’s dreams, and maybe you should do something about it.  But humans are WEAK and there is a very strong chance that you will find yourself in a similar position in 12 months’ time.

So what can you do about it?  Maybe reading this article will help!  Here are some career development resolutions that might actually make a difference.

  1. Think about what you really want from life, then think about your job.  Are you suited to the job you’re doing now, or are there elements of it that conflict with your true nature?  Are you a pet psychiatrist trapped in a tree surgeon’s body? Remember (subject to being able to pay your bills) – it’s almost always better to start up a different ladder than to carry on up one that’s leaning against the wrong tree.  (Note – if you actually are a tree surgeon, this is just a metaphor).  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-powerful-questions-find-out-what-you-want-with-your-life.html
  2. Work out how to get the rest of your life in order. Maybe you need to lose weight, stop smoking, regain motivation, or improve family relationships.  So plan how you can do these things.  Small steps.  A happier you is likely to be a more successful, confident, and marketable you. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/louis-efron/four-ways-to-improve-your_b_6146698.html
  3. In fact – challenge yourself. Are you stuck in a rut or in your comfort zone every day?  Consider what you would like to do but that you are afraid of.  Then take steps to get closer to that goal. Talking of goals – set some!  Just a few that you can focus on.  Frame them positively.  Make them SMART. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
  4. Share these goals with someone else.  You’ll feel more accountable if you do, and you are more likely to succeed.  For example, you can allow chosen friends to see every morsel of food that you admit consuming via My Fitness Pal (as I am now doing).  https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
  5. Get creative with your job application strategy. Most people apply for jobs using the usual channels, and then sit back and wait for the job offers to pour in.  Sometimes this can work, but you will get better results if you take the initiative.  Agencies can be useful but are not always the answer, especially if your experience doesn’t fit neatly into a box.  Recruiters like boxes.  http://www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/cvs-and-applications/get-creative-with-your-job-application
  6. Reframe your attitudes. Luck, genetics, and external factors play their part, but in the main the person who is responsible for everything in your life is you.  So take charge. http://www.forbes.com/sites/annakupka/2012/08/21/5-steps-to-transform-your-life-step-1/
  7. If your life is anything like mine, then it’s too full of stuff, and stuff to do.  Allowing yourself more time and space will help focus on what’s important in your life.  At the very least, look at your phone a little less and sleep a little more. http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-10-most-important-things-to-simplify-in-your-life/
  8. Rework your cv. An obvious one, but it is important.  Start with your achievements and build from there.  Use spell check, of course, but also seek a second and third opinion from other people.  (Hey!  You already have some suitable friends who are monitoring your diet on My Fitness Pal.  Maybe ask them!)  http://www.cvtips.com/resumes-and-cvs/achievements-in-your-cv.html
  9. Focus on yourself. It’s always impressive when a candidate talks about the steps that they have taken to develop their skills and interests, especially if it’s done in their own time.  Do you want to be a better manager?  Are you interested in learning more about Excel?  Would you like to know how to write a blog about New Year resolutions?  Then read some books or attend a course.  Consider any money you spend as an investment.  https://www.coursera.org/
  10. Finally – look before you leap. Don’t apply for jobs just because you’re fed up with your current one, or because it’s January, or because you want a pay rise.  Maybe now isn’t the time to look for a new job after all!  Perhaps it’s better to do it in June.  Or maybe you are actually working for the right employer but in the wrong role.  If you adopt a few of the above strategies then things might become a bit clearer.  https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-surprising-signs-you-should-fix-your-current-job-instead-of-quitting

So – over to you.  If you’re really determined to change jobs then have a look at some of the IT vacancies we’re currently recruiting for, here: https://www.bluespoint.net/vacancies/.  And here’s a blog from a previous January, with more specific advice if you are actively seeking work: https://www.bluespoint.net/2015/01/05/the-top-6-blues-point-resolutions-for-jobseekers/.

Good luck!  And in the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comedy/comedians/new-year-quotes-jokes/oprah-winfrey/

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