The New Year is traditionally a time we ponder ways to change our lives. But with all the change that’s been thrown our way in the last few years, your usual lofty New Year’s resolutions might not feel quite right this year.
2021 was a hectic rollercoaster ride for most of us - while some people experienced burnout and are in search of ways to find more balance in life, others are already dreading returning to the office, or are just looking for something new in 2022.
As we head into another year with the pandemic in our lives, you’ve probably become more comfortable with uncertainty being a normal part of life. During 2020, many people sat tight in their jobs, opting for security in the midst of global uncertainty, while 2021 saw most of us adjusting to various new restrictions and ways of living and working.
But one common theme that has come from the pandemic is that many of us have taken stock of what’s important to us, and reassessed what matters most in life. As we realign our lives in ‘Covid-normal’ this year, you may feel better positioned or more confident about making a change.
Make New Year’s resolutions stick
Keeping in mind the last few years, it may pay to shelve any significant New Years’ resolutions and shift your approach to something more agile. Thinking about change in a more agile way helps you adapt and learn along the way – still with your end vision in sight but starting small and building from there.
Micro-resolutions are a good way to make changes during times of uncertainty – create mini-goals or map out short-term steps that are achievable in the immediate future. Breaking down your goals this way will help keep you motivated, because you gain a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each small step, making it easier to build on.
It also gives you the chance to check in regularly to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction. Revisiting your micro-resolutions regularly lets you look at what’s changed and work out what’s still relevant, so you don’t get too far down a path you no longer want to walk down. After all, things change, and so should you! Pivot!
What are your work-life resolutions?
With the line between work and life becoming increasingly blurred over the last few years, you may want to develop some professional New Years’ resolutions too. Your professional goals will likely cross over into your home life – especially if you are working from your living room! As you make your micro-resolutions and assess your immediate career goals, changing jobs may be on your mind, but is it a good time to change jobs?
Is the New Year a good time to change jobs?
After the lockdowns and restrictions of the last few years, changing jobs may seem like the next best option to a holiday. Following the uncertainty of 2020 and early hesitancy in 2021, employer hiring sentiment is now stronger in many areas as companies adapt and look to the future. Skills shortages are also driving up salaries in spaces such as digital and technology, so the market seems ripe for change for many. But changing jobs for the sake of it may create more stress and tension in your life. Before you jump ship, consider exactly what isn’t working for you:
Which aspects of the company culture are not a good fit for you?
Which parts of the role are not what was promised or not living up to your expectations?
Is your current position lacking opportunities for advancement?
Are you facing losing flexibility and work-life balance?
In short, write down what matters most to you in your career and exactly what you want out of your job. Consider if any of the things that are not working for you can be fixed by your current employer. Can you ask for flexibility, opportunities for learning and development, or avenues for career progression?
9 tips to help you find the right job
If you realise a new job is on the cards for you, here are some pointers to get your job search heading in the right direction.
Re-evaluate your work requirements. Write down what you want and value most to reassess what you want from your job and employer. Think about what’s weighing you down, what you no longer find fulfilling, and what would make you happy. Maybe you’re looking for more meaningful work or to feel that your contribution is valued, and to be recognised or rewarded in a particular way. Be specific: narrow down aspects of your job, company, culture and work environment and assess how it aligns with your personal needs and aspirations.
Find balance. Work is only one part of your life. If the last few years has elevated the importance of spending more time with those you love or doing the things you love outside of work, consider how important flexibility is to your life and assess how accommodating potential employers can be to providing hybrid or remote arrangements. Find your healthy balance and set boundaries.
Think outside the box. If you’re looking for a change or to try something new, you may want to explore a deviation in your original career path. As the world changes, non-traditional career paths are becoming more common. Recruitment is a great example of an alternative career that is not well known and considered! Think about the skills you have that may be transferrable to a new industry or role. Use our practical guide: Steps to your next steps.
Look after yourself. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health and wellbeing, especially at work. Finding a supportive employer that values its people and their mental health and wellbeing will help create the right foundations for your career.
Learn something new. Certain skills such as digital and technology-based capability are more and more in demand, so it is always a good move to stay up to date with the latest thinking, enhance your knowledge and learn new skills. Broadening your skillset improves your appeal to potential employers and will help you be more competitive in getting the job you want.
Connect. Talk to people in your personal and professional network to increase your 'feelers' in the market and open up new avenues and opportunities. Make an effort to reach out to new people in your industry or an area you are looking to work in - not just for a job, but for advice and information to decide if a job, company or industry is right for you.
Polish your personal branding. Think about how you want to be perceived by potential employers online and make sure your profiles are up to date with your latest job title, skills and responsibilities. Optimise your LinkedIn profile to help you secure your next role.
Brush up on your job search skills. Get yourself job-ready so that you are prepared for the next job opportunity that comes along. Make sure your resume is working for you, set up a job seeker profile, and look around at current job opportunities to get a feel for the market in relation to your needs.
Reach out to a recruiter. We saved the best until last - Recruiters! Talk to a specialist recruiter to get an understanding of the local market, current salaries, where to direct your search, and how to weigh up and narrow down options. Finding a job can be hard work and industries change quickly, so using a recruitment consultant who understands the market can be just the antidote for your job search.