The first of January seems to be the perfect date to change your life – and one of the biggest changes one could make is a career change.
Do not make such an important decision just because a new year has already started. A career change means many smaller and bigger changes in life – salary, colleagues, work hours, time to commute to work and atmosphere in work.
It is a good idea to prepare a list of PROS and CONS to a career change and then come back to it after few days. This time is important to let the emotions settle and be able to make the best decision.
Think about your attitude. Why do you want to make this move? Are you unhappy with your work? Or you simply want to follow the trend of big life changes in the new year? Think about what you really need at this time of your life.
Do not change your life only because of social pressure. People around you might push you toward big changes, simply because they think this is the best choice in life. Staying at the same company for many years is not a crime, as long as you feel happy and satisfied with your life.
If you are still confident in your decision and definitely need new work – think about preparing yourself for this step.
Check what is happening in the market you are interested in. Is beginning of January good moment to look for something new? In many industries, winter is a slow time and fewer new positions are opened. It can be a good idea to wait until spring for something interesting to appear. Do not rush it – waiting a little bit more time is worth it for good and satisfying position.
Prepare your CV. It must be updated, written in professional language and easy to read. Avoid bright colors, keep it simple and classy.
Update your social media – especially professional websites like LinkedIn. The power of social media is enormous. Social media sites are a great way to advertise yourself and your skills, but are also the fastest and cheapest way for employers to perform a background check. Make sure there is nothing compromising on your websites. Update your profile with new skills, courses and extra activities that may improve your chances of getting an interview.
Think also about writing a cover letter. Remember one of the most important things – it is never a good idea to have one cover letter for all open jobs you are interested in. It shows you lack the motivation to personalize it for every position. The role of a cover letter is to show your background not only with dates and names, like CV, but also your motivation, personality and history. Keep that in mind.
Be patient. The best offers might not arrive right away and the recruitment process often takes more time than we wish.
Career changes are bigger changes than we may think. They impact not only work, which takes 1/3 of our time, but also other aspects of life. It will be beneficial to prepare for this change and will make this process easier.