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New Year Resolution – New Job!

by Admin on January 2, 2012

Resolve to recharge your career this year!

Along with the traditional resolutions many people make including losing weight or quitting smoking, there is another one that is equally popular – finding a new job! If you’ve been unemployed for several months or even a few years, this is even more important as you already know…Even if you aren’t looking, it’s smart to always be what I like to call, “Resume Ready.”

The old adage remains true that looking for a job is a job in itself. However, the longer you go on being unemployed, the harder it is for a potential employer to see you as any type of value-added hire. They will likely wonder what the heck you’ve been doing for the past 24+ months. Have you headed off back to school, found that lost time to make up with your family or have involved yourself in some community organizations in between sending out resumes and pounding the pavement?   Have you started to gain weight, lose your ‘fuel’ for succeeding again or have you sat quietly back collecting that unemployment check for the entire time as you wonder why things aren’t going your way?

Unfortunately, the latter doesn’t seem to inspire confidence when your resume shows an long work history gap. When reviewing your resume, the readers (i.e., recruiters, hiring managers, HR personnel)  like to see ACTION, not passivity or no reaction. The longer you remain unemployed and not working on your career development, the longer you will continue to do so. It’s a fact. With competition so tough these days, an employer is more likely to hire someone who has recently been laid off vs. someone who has been unemployed for a lengthy period of time.

If you find yourself in the more undesirable category, you need to shake things up. You need to take some courses, become active in some sort of regular volunteering role while also revisiting your resume to ensure that it truly reflects all you can offer in terms of achievements, not just what you’ve done duty-wise.  After all, anyone can perform a function but without proving how WELL you did your job, nobody will be interested.

For every position you apply for, there are hundreds more vying for the same role. If you don’t differentiate yourself with a productive unemployed past, no one will be interested in what you did three years ago even if your performance was stellar back then. Yes, things have been super tough lately for millions of people, but being unemployed doesn’t mean you need to be stagnant or give up. If what you’ve been doing thus far hasn’t been working, then things need to change. Don’t send a poorly-written resume out to hundreds of companies blindly. Do your homework, try to network and attempt to identify the company you wish to work for. Gauge what finances you can honestly live with (including giving up some things), even if it means moving, finding a part-time position or taking a pay cut. Think about your self-esteem and how low you may feel after an extended period of unemployment yet how much better you’ll feel for bringing in a paycheck again.

Whatever you decide to do, the upcoming year is always that little nudge we all need to change things for the better. Whenever you are feeling down, try to remember all the accomplishments you’ve achieved in both your personal and professional life and realize that you are valuable no matter what your situation right now. Let’s make it a great 2012!!

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