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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

 

The Best Job Market in a Generation

I am so excited! This year – 2019 – is set to be a record year for job searching. If I could knock on the door of every reader to personally deliver this message, I would. This message deserves to be yelled from rooftops everywhere. If you have ever thought of looking for a new job, now is the time to do it. Right now. Not in six months. Not next year. Now.

Andrew Chamberlain, the Chief Economist from Glassdoor summed it up best when he shared that, “this is the best job market we have seen in an entire generation.” This is the time to negotiate for more money. It’s the time to ask for better benefits. And, it’s the time to wait to find a job that fits your life.

I could not agree more! We haven’t seen a job market like this since before I graduated from college. For years, the market has been dicey. But now, the unemployment rate is incredibly low, and there’s a shortage for skills in cities across the country.

When the market first turned in favor of the job seeker, it was hard to feel the benefits. Hiring managers were still being overly specific in job postings. They were still highly critical of candidates. But, it seems this trend is changing. Hiring managers have had unfilled job postings open for months. They’ve been burned by candidates who “ghost” them by not showing up to work on the first day. They’re starting to wake up to the reality that the job seeker is in the driver’s seat once again.

But, don’t delay. Don’t take this moment for granted. There is a reasonable chance that a recession could be around the next corner. Any economic slowdown will certainly change the dynamics of today’s great job market. Chamberlain predicts that the odds of a recession are 15 percent in 2019, and 35 percent in 2020.

And, this prediction makes sense. Big companies are already starting to feel the economic slowdown. For example, FedEx announced in December that they will offer an employee buyout program. Eligible employees will receive four weeks of pay for every year of service, up to two-years of pay. This move is expected to save the Memphis-based logistics company over $200 million in 2020.

If you’re as excited as I am, don’t wait. Start by revising your resume today. Then, update your LinkedIn profile and begin monitoring the site (and Indeed.com and Glassdoor) for the latest jobs – daily. Research your current market value. If you’ve been stuck in one company for years, you may be surprised to know that your value has gone up quite a bit since the last time that you looked. And, luckily, fewer companies are asking your current salary. Instead, they’re asking how much you want to make in the future.

Take advantage of the special moment in time, and create a new future for yourself.

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

 

Time to Start on Your New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2019! I think we can all agree that 2018 was a tricky year. But, it’s time to start fresh. It’s time to refocus on an awesome New Year’s resolution: finding a new job. And, it’s the perfect time. Unemployment is at a record low. Jobs are being added. For the first time in a long time, it’s a job seeker’s market.

So, let’s get to it. The first place to start is your resume and cover letter. These will be crucial to your job search success. Combine all of your accomplishments into a one or two page document. Go through the details carefully. Review it many times and ask friends to proofread. Then, move on to your LinkedIn profile.

Once you have your materials together, it’s time to run with your search. First and foremost, you have to get into the right mindset. Job searching is a numbers game. You’ve got to start with volume. Set a goal and stick to it. A great goal to start with is ten job applications per week.

You’re not going to hear back from every one. In fact, you may only hear back from ten percent (or less). You must prepare yourself for this and be determined to keep going, even when it seems that you’re getting nowhere. Trust that the process takes time. If you keep putting in an effort, it’s going to come back to you. Keep going.

To increase your chances of hearing back, don’t just apply online. Apply online. Then, email the hiring manager. This person is the one who will be your future boss. They aren’t typically all that hard to find. You can search on LinkedIn for the company you want to work for. Then, you can look through the employees who work there. You can even sort by location and title. Once you’ve located your future boss, send them a copy of your cover letter and your resume.

Just remember, you won’t hear back from them every time either. Don’t take it personal. Just keep applying. Apply like it’s your job. Focus on the positive wins. Be happy every time you get an interview, rather than focusing on every time you get a rejection email. You have no idea why you’ve been rejected. It’s possible nobody was hired. It’s possible they had an inside candidate who was preselected. Don’t focus on this. Keep moving.

Applying for jobs is an imperfect process. It’s like trying to win a bear at a carnival. The game could be rigged. There could be outside factors impacting you that you don’t know about. Keep playing and shooting and hoping for the bear. But, if you don’t win, don’t let it ruin the experience.

And, don’t take it personally. The job search is an imperfect process that doesn’t necessarily reflect on your abilities. Get going on your search, so we can start 2019 off strong!

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