It’s that time of year – almost everyone resolves to make a fresh start in January. Even people who disdain New Year’s resolutions love the idea of turning the page on the calendar, especially if 2010 was a year containing a long and grueling job search. Here are some ideas for New Year’s resolutions if you’re still in the market.
- Start a job search support group. Connect with people in complimentary jobs or industries (it might be challenging to include people who are competing directly with you for jobs) and agree to meet once a week for coffee or a walk. Share leads and ideas and hold each other accountable for following up and applying for jobs. One of the worst things about a prolonged period of being out of work is the isolation. A group will give you some company and support when you need it, and may offer fresh perspectives on your search.
- Go to an event you would not have considered last year. Sometimes, job searches get stuck in a rut because you keep meeting and seeing the same people. Find a low or no-cost event and resolve to talk to at least three brand new people you’ve never met. You never know where your next job lead will come from, so don’t make the mistake of thinking of this as a waste of time. Look for the community events calendar online or in the newspaper and choose an event where the gathering is sure to include people you’ve never met before.
- Always choose a seat next to a stranger. (This tip comes from Marilyn Feldstein, Certified Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) and owner of Career Choices Unlimited.) Marilyn always chooses to sit next to someone she doesn’t know at networking events, even if the room is filled with friends and acquaintances. “I make time at other times to connect with people I know,” she says. “Networking events are for expanding my circle of influence, and I do that by meeting new people.”
- Make time for important activities that nurture mind, body and spirit. This resolution probably shows up under other categories (lose weight, get more exercise, etc.) but it benefits your job search as well. Your energy level and attitude ply a big role in your success, and they get a big boost when you take better care of yourself. Feeling better can come from simple steps like walking for 20 minutes or so each day, getting more sleep, and making small changes to your diet. Plenty of online magazines like Prevention, Fitness Magazine, and Whole Living have plans that cost little to no money to get started.
I love the idea of a fresh start in the New Year. What have you resolved to do or change in 2011?