With COVID quarantining an outstanding amount of people’s career, now could be that perfect opportunity to figure out a new career path. One that you have dreamed about. Below you will find some key tips on how to prepare for a new career in 2021.
Working from home has forced a lot of change on job seekers — regular methods of job search have been seriously impacted, and the competitive environment has increased two-fold. If you are going to get after this new career, you have to make it a focused part of your energy. Here’s how.
A lot of people like to purge & clean up their houses over the holidays. While you are clearing out the “stuff”, clear out any digital media clutter at the same time.
And then decide what you REALLY need in terms of tech in your life. The most important aspect of career planning for 2021, is that you have up-to-date technology to work with. To manage your career pursuits and online interactions with ease, it’s strongly recommended that you maximize your broadband, upgrade all software and hardware programs on your desktop, and download any necessary apps to your mobile!
Once your technology is set, you want to give some serious thought to your goals. For many, Covid-19 has forced a “reassessment of our life purpose” on us. I encourage you to create a new “career wish-list” for 2021: your list should include professional pursuits, personal pursuits like wellness and balance, and most importantly, professional development. Note that life-long learning and soft skills are now at the top of employers’ wish lists.
The next best approach to managing your career in 2021, is to upgrade and maximize your resume, checking your brand across social channels and update your LinkedIn profile. The better you fill out your profile, and the more endorsements you can get from friends and colleagues, the faster your name will rise to the top of the LinkedIn algorithms when you apply for jobs. Being on Linkedin regularly helps as well. The more often you engage with the platform, the more often you are seen. Resume content should match the info on your LinkedIn profile. Both your resume and your profile should be regularly updated with professional development (seminars, webinars, courses, etc.) as well as any recent media you’ve created.
Before you start your 2021 job search, there are two more, really smart moves to make: First, you can list 1-3 “titles” or “roles” that you are seeking directly underneath your name on your LinkedIn profile, as well as on your resume and your email signature. This makes it easy on others to know what you’re good at, and what you’re looking for! It also helps you “position” yourself.
The second smart move involves making sure you get all your marketing tools up to speed for the coming year: resume, cover letter, references, LinkedIn profile, endorsements, testimonials, and recommendations. Also, don’t forget the all-important, (but often neglected) email- and voice-mail signatures. These tips help you “package” yourself.
Work Product / Recent Media
Equally important are “work product” and/or “electronic work samples”. These can be anything from a blog, a vlog, podcasts, video and/or graphic elements, photos, links to online work samples, articles that you’ve written or interviews you’ve conducted, etc. Any and all media samples are important, and serve as excellent marketing tools to get out there and draw attention your name and your work experience.
So here’s the to-do list to get ready for 2021:
- Upgrade all your technology: software, hardware, apps and broadband.
- Make a list of the professional and personal goals you’d like to pursue in 2021.
- Ensure all your “marketing tools” are scrubbed and ready to go.
When you’ve done this preliminary work, you’re truly ready for job search! Chapter 10 of Careers AF! …new rules…new tools for the gig economy outlines 10 ways to boss your job search! Check it out, and tell your friends!