“The best way to predict the future is to create it” …. Abraham Lincoln

At the beginning of a new year there’s a strong feeling of change in the air, and this year there’s definitely hope that 2018 is going to be bigger and better than last year.

Gym memberships are in full swing and weight loss ads are dominating TV; just two of several tactics and messages designed to get you thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. But does it actually work? With statistics showing that approximately 80% of people fail to stick to their resolutions for longer than six weeks, it looks pretty unlikely.

One resolution that comes up a lot in my world is to change jobs or careers – in Australia alone over 2 million people change jobs every year, and that movement is much higher at this time of year.

If you’re one of those people that feels it’s time for a change, here are my tips to help you find your Career Spot.

Master the art of networking

Did you know that 50% of all job offers are made from networking alone?

Applying for jobs online will only take you so far, while effective networking will bring a range of benefits – and maybe that new job!

Networking may seem like a lot of work initially (and may not immediately create opportunities), but when done well it’s actually the closest thing there is to a new career shortcut.

Tailor your resume

By including all your relevant skills and experience, you’re tailoring your resume to the job you want.

Your summary statement is your written elevator pitch and is the prime real estate where recruiters or hiring managers always look at first. Make the most of it and show how you’ve excelled in your career by identifying your point(s) of difference. This gives employers a clearer picture of your ability and skill-set, and by highlighting your intangible skills and strengths, could make all the difference in getting you on the short list for an interview.

Use LinkedIn wisely

No doubt you already know that LinkedIn is a valuable platform to connect with others, especially in business.  Focus on strategic connections and keep in touch by sharing relevant and engaging content.

When developing your LinkedIn strategy, don’t be afraid to ask for an information interview (or invite someone out for coffee and pick their brain). This is an effective way to get advice on what you need to do to get you closer to your dream career.

Show resilience with tenacity

If something doesn’t go your way, take a moment to reflect on how you might handle it differently next time? Set your intentions high but don’t get fixated with the outcome so you don’t miss out on other opportunities.

By not dwelling on disappointing interviews, you can bounce back and keep trying until you find that perfect role. See it as a useful experience and don’t take it personally; accept that you are not right for every job, nor is every employer or job right for you.

Partner with an expert recruiter

You want to partner with someone who is considered an expert in their field and is well-connected in the industry or company you want to work for. They will know where the best job opportunities are, as well as being able to offer advice about a potential employer and assist with interview tips and strategies.

Once you find a recruiter that you like and trust, they will become your advocate with employers: when a recruitment consultant believes in you, they will go out of their way to help secure a role that’s right for you.

Know your value

Too many people allow past work experience to limit future career opportunities. Your attitude and ‘soft skills’ are what actually sets you apart from others, so  do your research and know what your skills are worth in the marketplace.  It’s very difficult to raise your salary if you start low, so having a range in mind before you interview will give you some bargaining power.

Knowing your value also means understanding the company’s benefits, not just an attractive salary, so that you don’t miss out on great opportunities.  By seeing yourself as a future high performer, you’ll be a stronger negotiator and will attract a role that’s right for you.

Be present and have fun

When you’re truly present, you talk less and listen more and build trust and rapport almost immediately.

If your job search becomes an obsession you won’t interview well, so be kind to yourself, reframe failure as feedback and take time out so that you don’t burn out! Trust your instincts and learn to relax, and most of all remember to have fun – it’s positive energy and fuel for a creative job search strategy!

Don’t let your career search become another unfulfilled New Year’s resolution!  And as Simon Sinek says, “having a job we love is a right and not a privilege” so make “I love my job” the standard, not the exception.