The new year is just around the corner, which means it’s time for every job seeker’s favorite time of the year: making a New Year’s resolution!
Of course, as many people know, making the resolution is the easy part. Achieving the goal is a completely different story. A Marist poll from last December found that 71 percent of people had given up on resolutions altogether and 41 percent of people who did make one the previous year didn’t keep it.
But you can succeed where so many others have failed.
When it comes to setting job search related goals for the new year, you need to set yourself up for success. Here are four ways to make — and keep — your job search New Year’s resolution for 2016:
Declaring that this will be the year you land your dream job is so broad that it will only lead to frustration. Instead of one big, overwhelming resolution, set a series of smaller goals that are more manageable, but still contribute to the bigger picture.
While you can’t control when that great job will become available, you can take small steps to assure you’re ready when it does. Create a list of tasks or activities that are completely within your power to complete. Resolve to increase your LinkedIn activity, work on sounding more confident in interviews, or reach out to your network for job referrals.
Setting a series of smaller goals will not only help you get the job you want, but the little successes will keep you motivated along the way.
January 17 has become National Ditch Your Resolution Day, but chances are you’re not going to be settled into a new office just 17 days into the new year. Instead of giving up when everyone else does, set and meet realistic deadlines for yourself.
Depending on how quickly companies process and review your applications, you can’t expect to go on four interviews by the end of the month. However, it is reasonable to say you’ll send out two or three resumes a week.
When it comes to the job hunt, quality beats out quantity. Instead of wasting time blasting out generic cover letters, focus on jobs you’re really interested in. This will ensure that your cover letter, resume, and applications are fantastic and up your chances of getting a job you’ll really love.
Research from Dominican University found that people who sent their goals, action plans, and progress reports to a friend, achieved significantly more goals than people who just mentally made goals.
Find a fellow job seeker or a friend trying to accomplish their own New Year’s resolution, and support each other. Having an accountability partner means there will be someone to challenge and encourage you when you’re struggling. Plus it’s always nice to have someone to celebrate with when all of your hard work finally pays off.
There will probably be setback in your New Year’s job search. Every so often you might not meet your goal as quickly as you’d hoped. That doesn’t mean you should give up entirely.
If one of your deadlines passes or if you’re having trouble with a particular part of your resolution, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, think about what went wrong. If turns out your goal was unrealistic, find a way to make it more doable. If at the end of the week you realize your heart just wasn’t in it the past few days, move on and try harder on Monday.
New Year’s resolutions might be about starting fresh on January 1, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a do-over any other day of the year.
What else can job seekers do to set themselves up for success with their New Year’s career resolution? Share in the comments below!