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Resolutions and Priorities

If last year taught us anything, it’s that things can change in an instant. Even small things we took for granted can become complex and unknown. Life is short. We’ve learned that the time is now to get our priorities in order. It’s important to decide on what matters to you and to focus in on it.

For many people, their personal life has a greater weight. Suddenly, a spouse, children, and loved ones are more important than ever before. And, it makes sense. The realization that our lives may be cut short has never been more present.

Even though there is still a pandemic raging, life continues to move forward. This is not the time to give up your career dreams. It’s time to pursue them differently. 2020 prepared us for living and working under the strain of a pandemic. 2021 is our opportunity to put what we’ve learned into practice.

It’s likely your priorities shifted over the last year. If so, here’s an exercise you may want to try. Write down the goals you had one year ago this time. Then, adjust them for our new normal. You may want to be in a smaller city. You may want to live closer to your family. You may want to permanently work from home. You may want to focus less on climbing the ladder and more on happiness. Whatever your goals are, putting them on paper can help to clarify what you are setting out to do.

If you’re like many people, accomplishing much of anything right now can feel impossible. There are things you can do to help make this process easier. After you write down your goals, type them up on your computer. This will allow you to prioritize them and to create steps under each goal. Move the most important goals to the top of your list. Then, outline what you will need to do to achieve each goal. Estimate the time each step will take you. Begin to put a timeframe around each step and goal. Decide on what you’ll accomplish this week, next week, and next month.

I know this sounds simple. But, as you continue to live through the pandemic, you can use your goals as a guide. Having goals written down can help you to stay on track when things are feeling tough. You have a game plan already that you can focus in on.

Don’t plan to check things off your goal list at the same rate as in the past though. The pandemic creates new challenges every day. It will likely take you longer to complete tasks, and that’s okay. The important part is that you stay focused on your goals and on moving forward. That way, we can make our way through 2021 more smoothly than we did last year. Although we may continue to live with a pandemic, this year we’re more prepared.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

New Year’s Dreams

The New Year is finally here. We’ve been waiting for 2021 since Friday, March 13, 2020. That was the day that it became apparent that a pandemic was going to be a big part of 2020. Since then, we’ve felt that if we can just hang on until January, things will go back to normal.

Although I hope this is the case, we have to prepare ourselves to move forward either way. It will take time to vaccinate everyone. In the meantime, many companies have already announced that remote work will continue through the fall. This is a huge bummer for some people, and a relief for others.

Whatever your perception is of this possible outcome, it’s best to prepare for anything. And, whatever happens, your life and career must continue to move forward.

By now, working from home has started to be routine for most people. If possible, it may be time to look for ways to put in a little extra effort. I, for one, may look to upgrade from the hoodie and sweats that have become my uniform.

And, it’s also the time to begin to think about your normal career goals. Did you know that many of the educational conferences you once attended in person are now online – and they are less expensive? This opens up options in terms of continuing education. And, there’s a good chance your company budget for training won’t be tapped out.

If you’ve thought of looking for a new job, this is a great time to begin. Think of this way. Many companies are still hiring. But, they are now conducting interviews online. This means that you won’t have to fly around the company to interview. And, you won’t have to sneak out of work.

Plus, if you land an offer, your new company is more likely to offer you a permanently remote position than they were in the past. This year, I heard from job seekers who looked outside of their metro area. They applied to jobs that were in other cities and were not listed as remote. But, companies considered them anyway! And, they didn’t expect the new employees to move. That opens up a lot of options. If your city is slim on job choices, the option to apply in other cities could be an upside.

You may want to also brace yourself for a new possible reality. Even if everything goes back to normal, and even you decide to stay at your current company, you may remain remote. You heard that right. A surprising number of companies have gotten used to remote work. They’ve found that it’s better for their employees and cheaper for the company. Even after the pandemic is over, they will continue to allow employees to work from anywhere.

2021 brings with it many options, and many dreams for a brighter future. Hang in there. We’re in this together!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Achieving 2020 Resolutions

January is finally here. The start of this New Year seems to be hitting many people hard. It’s the beginning of a new decade. Even the year, 2020, gives us some pressure to find our way and see the future more clearly.

Over the holidays, you may have taken a little time to line up your New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you want to get in shape, lose weight, or learn a new hobby. Or, maybe you want to spend more time with loved ones.

For many people, their resolution is to embark on an entirely new career path. Maybe you’re ready to get into management. Or, on the flip side, you could be ready to become an individual contributor again.

Write a list of your career resolutions. Think of what you’d like to accomplish. Would you like to land a new job? Make more money? Take a class? Finish a degree? Manage others? Do more public speaking, or learn a new software program? Write it down. Write everything down.

Once you have a goal list, begin to estimate how much time each goal might take you to accomplish. Then, begin to plot out your goals by months of the year. To make real progress, you can’t assume you’ll finish everything by March. Space things out, and be realistic with your expectations.

What I hope you’ll see is that goals and resolutions aren’t just for January. They’re something to work on all year. In fact, you may want to revisit them each month or each quarter to see how you’re doing so far. That’s how we plan goals at work, yet for ourselves, we often forget to put in this level of planning.

When I’m setting goals, I often prioritize them. Since it’s often not possible to complete everything, it’s good to think through which goals are the most important. And, if you have tasks that tie back to a larger goal, make note of it. It will help you as you’re plotting your future year.

And, there are some years when things are on a pretty good track. They’re going at a good pace, and you want to keep moving in the direction you established the year before. Those years are great. If you find yourself in this position, enjoy it. Soak up the progress you’ve made and the stability you’ve created.

But, for the rest of us, it’s time to get started. After all, the job market is still looking pretty strong. This is the perfect time to begin to reestablish what you want for yourself going forward. Think of it like a gift to yourself. If you could do anything with your life, what would it be? If you had a clean slate, what would you wish for?

In summary, write your resolutions down. Map them out on your 2020 calendar. The more work you put in now, the more goals you’ll meet.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Seeing 2020 Clearly

This is the perfect time to work on your 2020 plan. As you prioritize your New Year’s resolutions, consider a career cleanup along with your plans to go to the gym more often. If you’ve been thinking of a career change, whether it’s an internal promotion or moving to a new company or field altogether, this is the perfect time.

Start by evaluating your personal priorities. Are you looking for a financial boost? Or, are you searching for an improved work-life balance? Do you want to find a way to apply your current skills to a new type of job?

Whatever your ultimate goal, start by taking a look at your own personal brand. Consider the content and photos that you’re posting online to sites like Facebook. Ensure that your social media accounts have strict privacy settings, so you’re able to control the image your future employer has of you. Sign up for LinkedIn or update your existing profile. Ensure your work history is up to date and that you are connected to those in your life who might help you with your search. If you feel comfortable, ask a colleague for a written endorsement on the site.

Clean up your day-to-day practices at your current job too. Ensure that you’re on time and meeting your existing commitments. Present your appearance in a neat and orderly fashion. Even when you do find a new job, you will want to maintain a positive relationship with your former employer. Additionally, your current work practices reflect on you as you begin your search.

Next, dust of your resume and update your cover letter. Ensure that your resume is accurate and reflects all of the work you’ve been doing. And, remember to keep it to one or two pages in length. No hiring manager wants to sift through pages and pages of a candidate’s work.

Once you’re comfortable that your personal brand is ready for prime time, start looking for jobs online. Sites like Indeed.com aggregate jobs from many other sites, so you’ll save time in your search. Use your personal priorities to guide you and select a few types of jobs and organizations you’re the most interested in.

Finally, start the process of networking. Look for industry or interest specific events to attend. Events are a great opportunity to talk about yourself and your goals. Practice talking about yourself and what you’re looking for. You should work to narrow this pitch down to about thirty seconds or less.

Bring your business cards, and be prepared to give them out. For each event, consider setting a goal to exchange business cards with three to five people. Setting a goal makes it easier to do and in no time, you’ll find yourself with an expanded network.

The New Year is an exciting time that’s full of possibilities. If you set your mind to it, 2020 could be your most exciting year yet.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Preparing for January

In less than three weeks, the race will be on. Are you ready? You may wonder what race I’m talking about. It’s time for one of the most important races of your life. The race to your dream job.

Over the holidays, hiring slows down. Although it doesn’t completely stop, some companies put off hiring new employees until the New Year. First, there are many employees who are on vacation during December. This can make the interview process more difficult with only a partial staff.

But, when January begins, all bets are off. Companies start to hire again in full force.

The first step to getting ready is having your resume prepared. You also want to update your LinkedIn profile and have a sample cover letter handy just in case.

But once you have the basics down, what else should you do? Well, one of the biggest issues that may cause problems is not having a clear direction. Having a perfect resume is just not enough anymore. It’s important that you can explain to your friends and network what type of job you’re looking for and why.

If you aren’t sure what you want to be when you grow up, start with a list. Write down all the things you’re good at within the scope of your current job. Include things you did at your previous job. Then, add in skills you’ve picked up through hobbies. For example, you may have a business on the side that not only generates income, but also teaches you new things.

Compare your list of transferrable skills to various job descriptions. Start a list of possible new careers. Once you have five to 10 new ideas, begin to search within your network for people who work in these career fields. Send them an email and ask if you could take them out for coffee in exchange for picking their brain. You’ll be surprised at how many people will say yes.

These coffee meetings are often referred to as informational interviews. They’re a chance for you to learn more about another career through networking. They aren’t a chance to interview for a job, but to learn about one. And the good news is, most people enjoy talking about themselves – and helping others.

Oftentimes, I’ve found that just a few informational interviews can help my clients to narrow down what they don’t want to do, or to get a better idea of what they’d like to do. It’s surprising how quickly a short conversation can give you a window into another profession.

As you begin to narrow down your career choices, revise your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter to match. Begin putting together your elevator pitch. This is a quick summary of what you’d like to do. It helps those around you to recommend opportunities – and it will leave you prepared to dominate your search in the new year.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Keeping Up Job Searches During the Holidays

Now’s the time to get started on your resolution to find a new job in the New Year. The holidays are the perfect time to begin your search. Yes, many HR departments are on vacation and hiring appears to halt. But, it’s a great time for you to lay the foundation to stand out in 2020. And with a little luck, things are slowing down a bit at work.

First, you should revise your resume. Update it to include your professional accomplishments from 2019 such as a project you just completed or a promotion you received. If you’ve served on nonprofit boards or have volunteer experience, include it. It paints a fuller picture of you as a person. This can be helpful when you meet with someone who may not relate to your industry specific expertise.

You will also want to update your cover letter and your LinkedIn profile. The best part about updating your LinkedIn profile during the holidays is that your boss and coworkers are less likely to notice changes that may tip them off that you’re looking. Be sure you include a photo of yourself on LinkedIn, along with a summary about your background.

Next, move on to your biggest opportunity: networking. Holiday parties are an ideal way to reconnect with friends and colleagues. Learn about what they’ve been up to this year, and share the latest on your life and career. Make sure to dress appropriately and keep indulgences in holiday spirits to a minimum.

If you have the chance, you may want to hint at your future goal of finding a new opportunity. With closer friends, you can be more direct in your approach. Have discretion however and realize that it’s easy for others to pick up on your conversation in this environment. The last thing you want is for your current employer to get wind that you’re looking for a new job.

Be sure to exchange business cards. After the party, follow up with your contacts via email and ask to set up a time to connect via the phone or over a coffee. You will find that although many folks are out of town near the end of December, they will gladly schedule a time to catch up when they return. This will put you before everyone else on their 2020 calendar.

The bottom line is to keep pushing ahead on your search, even during the holidays. Updating your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile now will prepare you for interviews next year. When the holidays wind down and managers are ready to get serious with hiring, you will be ahead of your competition. In fact, you will already have phone calls and coffee meetings set up.

For most candidates, a successful job search is built on preparation and networking – both of which are at your fingertips during this holiday season. And don’t forget: it’s a great job market!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach