The end of the year approaches and you’re still in the job that isn’t doing your career any good. Don’t lament that no one hires this time of year. Instead, use the next few weeks to prepare for your career to be in high gear by early 2017. Here’s a checklist of things to do until it's time to sing “Auld Lang Syne.”
1. Do an analysis of your current portfolio. Consider any updates that will position you as perfect for your next role. Use the remainder of the year to polished your work, your website, and your resume.
2. Prepare a prospect list. Note work that you admire. Discover who is doing it. Visit the websites of those of interest to learn about them. If everything matches well with your desires, put them on your list. Then dig deeper. For example, search LinkedIn for present and past employees. They can give insight into the company and what to do to be a great fit.
3. Once you have your list, do a status page for each. Keep track of whom you contacted. Build relationships now so when a job is available, they already have you in mind.
4. Cast a wide net. The bigger pool you fish in, the quicker you accelerate the time needed to make a job change. If you can move, move. Check The Creative Ham, a blog that lists agencies in major US cities.
5. Invest in yourself. It requires time to find the right position. Make it your second job. Sacrifice your social life and anything else in the way. You're worth it.
6. Leave a better employee than when you arrived. While you're searching for your next job, do your best work for your current employer. Find positive things upon which to focus. Assign personal goals to achieve. A positive attitude makes the present more fulfilling, and when you do leave your employer will wish you well, rather than "good riddance."
7. Keep an optimistic attitude. Imagine the future in its best light. If you can see it, you can make it happen. People who are miserable appear so when they go to new job interviews. Employers want to hire positive people. Be the person excited about working for them, not someone trying to escape a nightmare job.
Persevere and you will succeed. Change things for the better. Your future will change for the better sooner than later if you do.
Bart Cleveland spent over 30 years helping grow brands like Coca-Cola, The Ritz-Carlton, and CNN. Now, he guides creative professionals to plan and execute successful careers through his business, Job Propulsion Lab℠. He also helps both agencies and marketers nurture customers into advocates through a relationship development program he calls, ACES℠.
Bart launched Ad Age’s most popular blog, Small Agency Diary. He is also a contributing author of the book, The Get A Job Workshop, How To Find Your Way To A Creative Career In Advertising.
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