Take some quiet time this month to consider where you are in your career and promise yourself to take specific action steps to re-confirm your current direction or begin to move into a totally new field of endeavor.
Consider these resolutions:
1. Most importantly, I will do some self-assessment work on my own or with a career coach to clearly define and understand who I am, why I am that way, and what I truly need in a job and a career. I will re-create “my story” so that I can confidently answer that famous question, “tell me about yourself” with focus and energy. This step will help me clarify my search objectives and create an effective and vital search action plan that will result in the right new position or new career for me (I will “look for work, not just a job.”).
2. I will ensure that my resume is current, two pages in length, proof-read, with a two to three line powerful summary statement at the top of the first page. I will ensure that my bio is current, interesting to read, and will cause someone to want to meet me.
3. I will ensure my sixty second “elevator speech” is brief and as interesting as my bio. I will practice delivering it until it is second nature.
4. I will re-contact my references (three supervisors, three peers, three subordinates) to update them on my search status, remind them of my key strengths, and thank them for being willing to act as a reference. I will avoid overusing my references and thank them when I “land” in my next chapter.
5. I will create or reenergize my support network and meet them and new contacts on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
6. I will create a CRM program (www.freecrm.com) and keep a careful record of all contacts that I have ever met that are pertinent to my search. I will follow-up on all opportunities with alacrity and energy.
7. I will draw a 40-mile circle around my home and identify all the companies in that circle where I “deserve to work” based on a match between my profile and the company’s profile. I will learn all that I can via the Internet and contacts about how their business could benefit from my expertise, skills, and interests. I will contact the most likely executives, including board members, to establish relationships that might lead to consulting or employment.
8. I will consider obtaining presentation skills and interviewing training to sharpen my presence and confidence in interviews. I will prepare for the wide range of questions that I will be asked. I will be expert on how to interview effectively by phone and in-person.
9. I will dedicate a specific amount of time each week, ideally the same days and times, to my search. I will treat my search as seriously as I do (did) my job.
10. If I am not working, I will find a part time job that keeps me feeling active, pays something, and is consistent in some way with my career objectives if possible.
11. I will keep my family, friends, and support group current regarding my search and I will enlist their support and love to keep me energized and focused.
12. Once I land that next consulting or full time employment, I will thank those who helped and I will keep doing all of the above to be well-prepared for the next “work interruption” or career shift.
Remember, jobs are fleeting; work is eternal.