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10 Tips for Career New Year’s Resolutions

Since we’re now in the beginning of the New Year, I thought I’d repost tips from when I was  interviewed last January for an article in the Orlando Sun Newspaper. I hope these may help you to get serious about your career search or for reving up your career:

1. Set the intention – decide on what it is you want in your career – do you want to find a new job, keep your current job, change industries, move into a leadership role, be a better employee, or is this the year you will start your own business; being clear on what it is you want – and why – will help you structure your time and efforts more effective

2. Commit – to the process; what tools and resources do you need that will aid you in effectively managing your career

3. Assess – write down your skills, talents, abilities, interests, values, experiences or, in other words, what do you have to offer an employer ; also assess your preferred work environment – where do you your best work and feel happiest; what type of company culture aligns with your values and will support you

 4. Research – who is hiring for the job you want and then explore the position you want – the pay, the benefits, the responsibilties and skills to see if you have them; look at the organization itself to assess it stability and offerings; what is the state of the industry you are in or want to move into

5. Set goals – what is that you want – type of job or position, company, etc.; be specific and exact

 6. Action steps – define what activities you need to do on a daily or weekly basis that will take you to your goal

 7. Develop a job search strategy – what types of job search activities will be most effective to use: Job boards;  Published positions; Unpublished positions;  Networking;  Associations;  Alumni Associations;  Friends/family ; Direct contacts;  Job Fairs;  Recruiters/headhunters;  Chat Sites;  Company Websites;  Social networking – LinkedIn, Facebook, Connections, etc.

8.  Set up a specific daily activity log – how you will spend time in job-search mode on a daily basis; this will help you to keep focused and productive

9. Self-care – activities or interests that will help to keep up the emotional level; take time to destress, like taking a walk or listening to music

10. Support system – find support to help you when you might frustrated or discouraged, such as family, friends, a career coach or a job seekers support group

Make Your Alumni Association Part of Your Job Search Strategy

When you are looking for a job, whether you are unemployed, want to change fields, or move to a new position, you need to put your alumni association on your list job search strategies.  Alumni associations are a great resource, as they have assessment tools you can use, directories of employers, hold job fairs, and they help you network with other alums who could help you get a job.  It is also possible to find internship and mentorship opportunities that can help you to gain work experience that will help you to stand out from other job seekers.

One such university that is helping their alums is the University of South Florida, in Tampa.  They have implemented a program called, Career Quest, that is linking their alumni association and their career center to offer classes, online resources and an opportunity to meet with an alumni career coach.  University alumni and career centers also have connections in the community and networks with local businesses that can provide information about jobs available and to link with you the people who hire. 

I myself belong to an alumni association and reconnected with a classmate from 10 years ago.  As we were catching up on our career paths since we graduated, he learned that I am a university professor, of which he had aspirations of becoming. Through my networks and contacts, he is teaching at a university.  This is the power of your alumni assocation; they make you a member when you graduate so take advantage of this powerful resource!

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