‘Tis the season to be jolly... and reflective! We encourage you to spend the final moments of 2018 celebrating your achievements from this past year and, if contemplating a job change next year, taking some time to think about what your job “wish-list” looks like. So grab your slippers and a cup of peppermint cocoa, because it’s time to cozy up and have a “real-talk” with yourself.
We’ve come up with 12 critical questions to ask yourself before kicking off your 2019 job search. We promise there will still be time to binge-watch your favorite Hallmark movies afterward!
1. What’s so holly-jolly about your current role?
Is it the fast-paced nature of your position or the ever-changing day-to-day that gets you up and motivated in the morning? Think about the specific projects and tasks you do on a regular basis that make you genuinely happy. We get it – work is work, but what’s the added value that you are gaining from your position, or hope to gain in your next role?
2. Future Career Resolution?
New Year's Resolutions are great and all, but have you ever sat down and taken the time to dream about your career resolutions? You might find it quite invigorating! We encourage you to think about your dream role and where you are on that path. Moreover, what are you hoping to contribute or learn in your next role to keep you squarely on that trajectory?
3. What’s at the top (and bottom) of your Career Christmas list?
Without being a Scrooge, what can you live without? Maybe you’re open in terms of base salary, but full medical coverage is a must. Maybe a generous 401K/retirement program is essential to you, or you’re more motivated by daily lunches and snacks. We all have our ideals, but also consider the rank order of your priorities and which areas you’re willing to compromise on. It’s helpful to be thinking about these things upfront so that you’re not caught off guard when it's time to make a decision.
4. Unbox the Christmas lights and put up that 10-year-old Frosty: how can you recycle and leverage all your previously-learned skills?
So maybe you’re ready to switch gears. Whether changing industries or roles, take the time to ponder your transferable skills. Potential future employers will expect you to be able to relate your experience to their needs, so start thinking about how best to do that.
5. Who are the little elves in my life willing to help me with my job search?
As the carol says, “say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.” Whether it’s reaching out to your circle of friends or your professional network, be willing to ask for help and introductions from the elves in your life, who already know and vouch for you. And don’t hesitate to call upon those professional elves either, like the recruiting team at Maven Recruiting Group, who are here year-round to help you find and land your ideal job!
6. Sugar and spice and everything nice?
Two of the elements employers appreciate most in a potential hire are resiliency and tenacity. Before you launch into a job search, ask yourself whether you’ve done all you can to make the most of your current position or work through challenges. A candidate who appears to be flippant or runs when the “going gets tough” is far less appealing to a potential employer than one who made an impact and improved things before departing.
7. Not to sound like the Grinch, but when's the last time you've updated your resume and LinkedIn profile?
If you’re sinking in your seat thinking “2015?” it’s time for a refresh. Think clean, simple, professional and YOU. The goal here is to stand out (positively) so make sure you are representing yourself in the best light. Remember your LinkedIn profile and your resume are likely to be the FIRST impression you make, so make them count! Building out your resume is itself a reflective exercise that will help you further clarify your accomplishments and what you hope to do in your next role.
8. Sleigh ride or flying reindeer: what’s your preferred commute?
We all wish we had some magical reindeer to get us around in a flash, but unfortunately real life isn’t all jingle-jangle. And especially in the Bay Area, this is an important question to consider. Think about your life outside of work. What makes sense in terms of a daily commute? Are you willing to drive? Is picking up your child from school or being biking-distance away from home important to you? If you haven’t given to much thought to this question in the past, it’s time to start because this is one of the first questions your Recruiter will ask you.
9. Suit and Christmas tie or denim and ugly Christmas sweater?
Before you think we’ve had too much eggnog, we believe these are real conversations to have. If you prefer more straight-and-narrow, chances are you’ll appreciate the structure of a polished professional services firm. If you’re more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, chances are you’ll enjoy the ever-changing nature of a scrappy tech startup. There’s no right or wrong, just know what you like to avoid wasting time (both yours and your future employer’s!).
10. If you were given all the Christmas magic, who’d be your dream boss to work for?
Are you the little kid on the nice list looking for daily kudos? Would you prefer to report to an Exec who’s as sweet as gingerbread? Or maybe you’re more like the kid who needs his parents threatening to take away Christmas gifts in order to be on your best behavior. Your relationship with your manager is a huge part of your work life – as the saying goes, people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers – so take some time to ponder about what management style works best for you.
11. "Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!” When should you wave goodbye to your current employer?
Goodbyes are never easy, so it’s natural to wonder when’s the right time to move on. Ask yourself why you want to leave your current role? Maybe the growth opportunity just isn’t there, or you feel you’ve already exhausted you’re learning trajectory, or maybe you’re planning to move cities and the commute just doesn’t make sense. Whatever the reason, be sure to give this question some serious thought so you know you’re leaving for the right reasons.
12. How early should I start my holiday shopping for next year?
Like yesterday. And the same goes for when you should kick off your job search. But not to fear, this is a candidate-driven market and many of our clients are looking to make hires faster than your cart zooming through the aisles of Target. PS: Maven Recruiting Group is kicking off 2019 with some new roles that are hotter than your cocoa.
And a partridge in a pear tree!
We hope you find this season of reflecting to be insightful and rewarding as you gear up for the new year and begin a new job search. In case you need some help along the way, one of Santa’s elves told us that Maven Recruiting Group is the agency to call to assist you with your job search. Our goal for 2019 is to help make your career goals come true. *Cue the fireworks and confetti*