Jumpstart Your Career for 2019

Written by Challenger Career Coach Marcy Jenkins

Savvy workers of today know that they need to be flexible, creative, and innovative to make sure that they always find or create work that rewards them appropriately when they need it.

Whether you’re early in your career, or you’re interested in working just for another few years, it’s time to get accustomed to regularly assessing your skills and capabilities, uncovering new work opportunities ,and “marketing” yourself to be a successful candidate for roles, projects, initiatives, and companies or organizations that are a good fit for you.

If you want to be paid for your efforts and find satisfaction in your work, start having regular conversations to build and maintain a network of colleagues and friendly connections who can provide information and advice on work opportunities, and for whom you can do the same.

Get in touch with what’s important to you, communicate your value, and take action – with focus, patience, and persistence, and a genuine desire to help others as well, you can find more satisfying work in 2019 and beyond!

Good luck!

Tips from Challenger Coaches

  • Take responsibility for your search – and for finding work that fits your skills and interests. No one is responsible for managing your own career except you! “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” Trust yourself and keep focused – you are embarked on a worthy venture, so give it your time and attention and best efforts.
  • Keep in mind the four “Ps” or Pillars of job search:
    1. Professionalism (at all times, with everyone)
    2. Proactivity (go after the contact, job, opportunity; don’t wait for it to find you)
    3. Positivity (everything out of your mouth should be positive (neutral at worst)
    4. Patience (search almost never works on your timeline, keep the above three going and practice that patience muscle every day.)
  • Don’t take things too personally – miscommunication happens, company needs and priorities change, initiatives are delayed, hiring managers leave… Things can fall apart, even though they often have nothing to do with you or your skills and performance. If something goes wrong, review what you could do better next time, and move on – don’t blame yourself!
  • Action bolsters mood –while you cannot control the responses you get, you CAN control the actions you do, and take pride in your efforts.
  • Consider following this 5-4-3-2-1 Rule:
    5 – Targeted resumes (applications) per week at target companies. Spend time to address the skills on the posting and your capabilities.
    4 – Connecting events (networking groups or job clubs).
    3 – Personal contact meetings (Informational interviews, courtesy interviews or networking interviews) at the local coffee shop with contacts.
    2 – Personal activities (golf, exercise, pleasurable read, take a walk), “Me” Time, “Honey Do” Time. Take time for you.
    1 – Interview – phone or in-person.
  • Expect to have occasional ups and downs. Job search often feels like being on a roller coaster – one week things may look gloomy and you’re discouraged – the next week things pick up and you get responses to applications, set up interviews, or even get offers! If a bad mood or discouragement gets you down find ways to regain your confidence and equilibrium by talking to a friend, going swimming, meditating, etc. If you find your mood is continuously low, consider getting some professional counseling or help from your doctor.
  • Remind yourself of what you’re grateful for and compartmentalize – don’t let the uncertainty or worries about your search affect all areas of your life or occupy your attention 24/7. This, too, shall pass. You WILL find work and move forward.
Download the Challenger Job Search Checklist