It’s hard coming back to work in January. Really hard. After a solid 10 day feast of mince pies and sherry (or your chosen tipple), parties, late nights and even later lie-ins, getting back into the swing of things after Christmas seems like Mission Impossible.
And so you reach your desk, making a half-hearted attempt to get on with your work whilst leaving a job search tab open in the background… But the fatigue is too much, and you reach 5:30pm having sent a few generic applications to some jobs you’re really not fussed about, just so that you can feel like you’ve done something.
Add to this the fact that you’re probably ravenously hungry (no more carbs), furiously angry (no more cigarettes), and the early mornings are taking their toll – all round, you feel pretty terrible.
That’s the January blues.
But do they really have to be a bad thing? That desire for change and improvement must, deep down, be good – it’s what we were born to do. Man wouldn’t have been to the moon without someone looking up, after all. If you really want to do something amazing in 2012, you need to take advantage of the blues and make a positive change for the better.
We can’t advise much on your other New Years Resolutions – but if your career is where you want to change, here are some golden nuggets of advice to help you find the perfect job this year.
Take the bull by the horns.
We’re not suggesting heading off to Pamplona for a bit of bull-running – although if you’re an adrenaline junkie, it’s certainly one way to go.
Rather than spending the next six months thinking about the fact that you’re not satisfied at work, make a game plan. Think about your all-round presence in the job market. If you’ve got conflicting/out-of-date CVs on the job boards, with agencies, and on LinkedIn, now’s the time to refresh your personal brand – take a look at this guide to improving your online employability here.
Look at the bigger picture.
And rather than aimlessly browsing the job boards, sending applications left, right and centre to jobs that aren’t really “you” – think about what it is you want to do. Where do you see yourself in a year? And the year after that?
If you can look at your career in a wider aspect to see where you want to be, and when, it’ll help you to really target your job search – and turn those January blues into a whole new you.
But… Be specific.
Once you’ve groomed your candidate profile and decided where you see yourself, have a think about the specialist agencies in your sector. We’re not just saying this because we’re a niche agency ourselves (although if you’re a contact centre management or specialist type, you’ve come to the right place!) Across all sectors and industries, you’re almost certainly going to have more success in your job search if you’re working with recruiters who know their stuff.
When a specialist recruiter puts you forward for a role, you know you’re a pretty close match to what the client is looking for, because the specialist knowledge is what people like us trade on. Knowing our industry is what makes businesses large and small work with us, because we can help, rather than hinder, the selection process.
Do your research.
For that reason, it’s worth reading up not only on specialist agencies, but having a look at jobs that are currently being advertised at the level you’re already working at. This might sound counter-intuitive, but we’re not suggesting you should apply.
Rather, this will give you an idea of the benchmark that you should be aiming for – as well as the skills that employers expect from your role. Also, looking at a job description of a role similar to yours might give you an insight into what transferable skills you’ve got. You might not realise, for instance, that your SQL skills are big business in the market at the moment – or that the course you went on months ago could really help boost your employability.
So that’s our advice for making 2012 the year your career gets bigger and better – if you’ve got any tips of your own, please let us know in the comments below.
Happy New Year everyone!
Cactus Search is the leading provider of Call and Contact Centre Management candidates to some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Internationally.