New year, same old career? If you ever needed proof that January 1 is just a day on the calendar, the week after the holidays might provide it. But just because the beginning of a new year isn't automatically a new start at work, doesn't mean that you can't use the fresh page in your planner to inspire you to make changes, large and small, that can make 2015 the best year of your career so far.
Now that the holiday craze has died down and it's back to reality, it's time to get serious about what lies ahead for 2015. Before you dive headfirst into your new year's resolutions list (which you dusted off from last year), we've compiled a list that will help you get your life and career on track for the coming year.
Are you going on a lot of interviews, but not getting any offers? The problem might be that you're setting your sights too low.
Whether you're switching careers out of necessity or simply the desire to make a change in your life, searching for a job takes on a new level of difficulty. Because you'll be competing with applicants who've been in the industry for years, you have to try extra hard to show hiring managers that you're the best candidate for the job -- and not just an inexperienced newbie. How do you do that? Your resume is your not-so-secret weapon. Here's how to use it to your best advantage.
Out with the old, and in with the new! While some industries are thriving in 2015, and anticipating further growth, other professions are struggling to stay relevant. Growth in the tech industry, for example, has been easy to understand and anticipate. But, other industries are paying a price for the changes technology has brought.
Finally, the new year is here, which means it's time to pull out all of the inspirational hoopla to get those career go-getter juices flowing again. (But this year it will be different! Right? Right?!) We've compiled a list of ways to help kick-start the momentum you need to make 2015 a career success.
Depending on how 2014 treated you, the dawn of a new year is either a welcome chance to start over or an opportunity to continue building on what you're already creating. Either way, it's a good time to engage in a little self-reflection, so that next year brings you more of what you want in your career and your life, and less of what drove you crazy during the past 12 months.
Whether you are a job seeker, an independent jewelry designer, a freelance journalist, an aspiring filmmaker, or the owner of a new food cart, a strong online presence is a key part of every professional and small business's marketing strategy. The backbone of this presence is your website. And unless your small business is a web design company, or you are successful enough to hire a programming whiz (in which case you would have probably already needed a website by now), you most likely have neither the funds nor skills to fork over thousands to a professional for the perfect site. Thankfully, in today's sea of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and independent contractors, a lack of money and programming knowledge does not stand in the way of a great-looking site that does not break the bank.
Even if you don't observe any of the December holidays, personally, there's almost no way you've made it this far into the month unscathed by the gift-giving madness. Now that all of the bustling and spending has come to end, it's time to turn your attention inward, and ask yourself what you need and want in the next year, in order to get the career you deserve. Good news for your bank account: many of these "gifts" are free.
At any point in your career, meeting with a career coach could be beneficial. But, most people hire one when their professional lives reach a critical juncture. When you are changing positions, working toward different goals, making a geographic change, or switching industries or professional direction, a career coach can provide valuable insights and strategies that help you get where you'd like to be.
Signing off as "Salty" instead of "Sally." Including 18 line items in your signature block, including your parents' home number. Forgetting that you already pushed "send" on your daily e-mail to your mom, and closing the subsequent e-mail to your boss with, "Love, Sean XOXO." Realizing that upon sending said e-mail to your boss, you accidentally hit "reply all" and thus also sent your hugs and kisses to your entire team. The ways we can bungle a professional e-mail are endless and there is arguably no worse way than how we sign off.
The world has changed so much in the last couple of decades. Technology has shifted the way we work in fundamental ways. As a result, skills that used to be highly valued in a professional context have become less important, and other skills and talents are coming into sharper focus. Professionals need to bring something to the table that can't be achieved by a machine. Traits like creative talent, an ability to multitask, and excellent interpersonal skills are becoming increasingly important. Learning a new language might give you that extra edge you've been searching for.
After years of training and education, you've finally landed a great position in your field. But no matter how much preparation you've done, a mentor could help your career, and assist you personally, in profound ways.
Have your social media feeds been filling up with thankfulness over the past few days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? If these public statements of gratitude make you roll your eyes rather than count your blessings, never fear: we're not here to convince you to join a movement, or even start a journal or buy an app. However, focusing on the positive and remembering the ways in which you're lucky can be good for your career, if you go about things in a way that works for you.