Kick Start Your Career in 2017!

Are you stuck in a career rut and feel unsure of what your next move should be? We’re going to share with you 10 ways to kick start your career in 2017. Our new e-book is a fantastic resource to help you achieve this also. It’s filled with useful info to help you really make your mark in the new year! Add your email address to the box at the bottom of this post to get the e-book, completely free – our gift to you to help make 2017 your best year yet!

1. Who are you? Deep first question, I know.

Understanding who you are is one of the most important things in life. Deep – I know. Truly though, I have found that understanding myself has enabled me to be more accepting of myself (warts and all) and ultimately find harmony with my life. Spend some time over the festive season to consider your true self:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your likes and dislikes?
  • What brings you joy, and what triggers stress for you?
  • Where is your source of inspiration?
  • Consider your happiest moments
  • Think about your level of confidence with various situations
  • How do you interact with other people?
  • What motivates you to really get through challenging times?

This is not a finite list but rather a guide to thinking about who you are.

2. What makes you truly happy at work?

There have been times in the past where going to work has been a chore. In these situations, it is usually because the work environment was toxic and there were bad things happening that either indirectly or directly affected me. Once I got past these situations I had moments of career zen, where I could articulate what things make me truly happy in a work environment. It is a shame that it took these horrible experiences to make me realise what meaningful work means for me. Here are a few questions to help you determine what makes you happy at work:

  • List 3 of the best experiences you have had at work
  • List 3 of the worst experiences you have had at work
  • What achievements are you most proud of?
  • When were your happiest at work?
  • Who has been your best manager/leader? What were their best qualities?
  • What type of environment do you flourish in?

This is not a finite list but rather a guide to thinking about who you are.

3. What is your dream career?

I believe that in our modern, fast-paced world majority of people no longer have one dream career. Rather in our working lives, we will have multiple career goals and probably multiple small (or large) career changes. What our career goals are today may not be what we want in five years time. When thinking about what your dream career is, you only need to consider what is important right now – leave the rest to the future.

It is refreshing to know that it is very unusual to have a ‘light bulb’ moment about your dream career. People don’t commonly have sudden full clarity on what their dream career is. Instead, it is usually a series on small ‘ah ha!’ moments that join over time to fill in the picture.

Here are a few activities/questions to help you identify what your “right now” dream career is:

  • Take a quiz: Sokanu has a free quiz to help you discover your perfect career
  • What types of career families are you drawn to?
  • What is your passion?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What are your core values?
  • If someone offered you the chance to do something new what would it be?
  • Read this article from Mark Manson: “7 strange questions to help you find your life purpose”

4. What skills does your dream career require?

Landing your dream career will take dedication, patience and perseverance. This is especially true if there are specialised skills involved such as in vocational careers. Researching the skills required for your dream career is an important step in moving forward. Here are 3 tips to find out what skills your dream career requires:

  • Use your network to find people that are currently working in role like your dream career. Talking to people about their skills and experience will give you an insider’s guide for what is important and how they got recruited for their roles.
  • Research job advertisements on Linkedin, recruiter sites and job posting boards. These sources are great resources on the skills and experience organisations are seeking for your role.
  • Research industry and professional organisations sites for further information

5. What are your skills?

It is important to understand your current professional and personal skills and to match them to your dream career. The gap between your current skill level and what your dream career requires, will become your action plan.

Here are 3 tips to identify what current skill level is:

  • Undertake a skills audit
  • Ask for feedback from your manager and work colleagues
  • Review previous performance reviews

6. Invest in your skills

Dream careers just don’t happen. Once you have established your dream career action plan, it is time to action the plan! Your action plan should be realistic, with achievable goals. There is no point having goals and timeframes that are unrealistic as you are likely to feel disheartened.

7. Find a mentor

Mentors can assist you with obtaining your dream career. Finding someone that has a similar journey to yours is a great way to dodge obstacles and learn from others. It has the potential to save you significant amount of time and energy.

Use your network to find a mentor that is going to help you with your goals and to kick start your career. Reach out to them and see what unfolds.

This podcast of ours is here to help you: Podcast 78: How to find a mentor

8. Improve your Linkedin profile

It is amazing how quickly your Linkedin profile can go stale. Here are 3 quick tips to improve your Linkedin profile:

  • Update your current responsibilities
  • Add skills and endorsements to your profile
  • Add a professional looking profile picture

If that sounds all too hard, engage a professional to update your profile – it is worth the money to help you kick start your career.

9. Improve your CV

Like your Linkedin profile, your CV can get become outdated easily. This is especially true when you have been making updates to your CV throughout the year. Here are 4 quick tips to improve your CV:

  • Ensure the layout is simple and the text is easy to read
  • Ask a friend (in a similar industry if possible) to read your CV and provide feedback
  • Ensure your CV has a skill summary / career overview section
  • Include your achievements

10. Have Fun

While careers are important to some, it is also important to have a well-balanced life. Having fun and enjoying your life is important to feelings of wellbeing!

Remember to take time to enjoy the things that make you happy, and try not to fixate on things that you are not able to influence. Above all – have a fantastic 2017. May it be everything you want it to be. Now get out there and kick start your career in 2017!

Remember to enter your email address below to get our free e-book for more useful info. It’s a fantastic resource to help you achieve your career goals. This e-book is our gift to you to help make 2017 your best year yet!

Written by Elise Stevens – founder of Fix My Project Chaos