How to Prepare for a New Career in 2021

EVERYTHING has changed for us this year. Is it finally time to take charge of your career path in 2021?

What now?

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.

All is not lost in Quarantine. People are pivoting, making life changes, deciding new directions, & learning new skills.

Technology

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!

Goals

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.

Give yourself the time to think through what would be your ideal job. Then plan towards it.

Social Profiles

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.

Marketing Tools

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.

A global pandemic might have put you in a challenging position but this is the perfect opportunity to look to a new career

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 samplesarticles 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!

Or connect with our career toolkit for personal business coaching & one of our premium packages. 

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Careers AF! can help guide you on that new career path

Turn Your Career Wish-List into Reality!

Careers AF! Available Now…

Writing up your “goals statements” sounds like a chore, doesn’t it? But what if you treated your goals statements as a “career wish-list?” I like to write up my goals/wish-list annually, on my birthday. Each year, it gives me a great opportunity to reinvent myself: out with the old, and in with the new!

Q: What to include on your career wish-list? A: ANYTHING! (…it’s YOUR list!). You can include professional, personal, fitness, health, wellbeing, spiritual, self-care, and/or relationship goals. Add a new hobby, or, add some professional development or courses you would like to pursue. Try to have some fun with it!

Once you have your new wish-list written up, go through it, and look at each item, and ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 is highest) how badly you want it. This will help you identify your priorities at a glance! If you’re really good, you’ll go back through the list once more, and determine for each item, if it’s a short-, mid-, or long-term goal. You then put your items into descending order (eg., 10, 9, 8, etc.) under short-, mid-, and long-term columns, and VOILA! You now have a brand new wish list to help you succeed this year, prioritized and ready to go!

The last step in realizing your goals, is the most important one: post your new wish-list overtop your computer so you can see it every day. When Monday rolls around, take items from the short-, mid-, and long-term columns and assign them a into small block of time, somewhere in your schedule for the week. This ensures that week over week, month over month, you slowly but surely move your goals forward.

Try it! If you’re mindful week over week, by the end of the year, you should end up with an excellent list of accomplishments, and as a result, be ready to do it all over again next year!

Take the chance on yourself. Goals don’t realize themselves. This simple formula will ensure you turn your wish-list into reality!

To get started click here: 

Check out my YouTube video on same here: https://youtu.be/mL_pMe6ZgjA

5 Top Tips to Make BIG things happen in your Career

A career is not something that you take care of, only when you’re in trouble, and when your back is against a wall… Careers should be taken care of on an ongoing basis.

In today’s current job climate, the competition can be fierce. That’s ok. We are resilient beings. Here we provide some quick & easy tips on managing your career & finding new opportunities to improve your profile to hiring managers.

How to get a job

Easy tips on how to put your best foot forward in determining your career

Tip #1:

Maintenance is key. Give your career a regular tune-up. 

A birthday is a sacred day: gift yourself with a scrub of your resume and all your marketing tools (resume, Bio, email signature, voice mail message, references, recommendations, business card, summary profile…) If you do this, you’ll be good to go for the next 12 months! You ARE an organic person; let your career evolve along with you! Take advantage of your birthday for reinvention!

Maintain regular check ups on your career

Keeping a commitment to check on your profile yearly makes sure you are up to date & attractive to hiring managers

Tip #2: 

Plan your approach(es) thoroughly.

Most job seekers don’t take the time to script and rehearse their approaches to hiring managers. Just prepare a simple script before a phone call (10 mins), drafting an email (2-3 short paragraphs) or reaching out over LinkedIn (short messages only; keep your outreach social in nature — read: warm, fuzzy). Script preparation includes: a short introduction (your full name) with context (why or how you came to be reaching out); 2-3 point form list of what you can bring to the table professionally (skills, knowledge, media reach); a clear ask (what is it that you hope to achieve by this outreach); and next steps (which, if you’re smart, you’ll take charge of…). The result: you’re in charge, not them!

Putting energy into how you are going into applying for a new job can make a huge difference in the outcome

Tip #3:

Do your research.

A great way to end up in a lousy job is to NOT do research on the company before you apply and/or accept a job offer. There are countless platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook … where you can get the inside scoop on a company, either through news releases, or, from comments former staff make. Make it your job to find out their financial health, their corporate social responsibility, and their on-boarding, team building efforts, salary increases/bonuses, before you join! We have a great tool for that in our Career Toolkit!

Research the companies you want to work for

Researching the companies you want to work for can help you feel prepared & confident in your choices

Tip #4:

Outshine the competition by making your “Business Case”

Job seekers don’t thoroughly think through their reasons for applying to jobs. It’s important to do the math up front, on any given company. More importantly, doing the math up front is really smart and makes you way more competitive. Answer these four questions for any job you are applying to

  • Why would they hire you in particular?
  • Why would they hire you now?
  • What role do you want to play for them, specifically?
  • And why do you want to work with this company in particular?

If you make a point of articulating the answers to those four questions in a screening call, in an elevator pitch, in an interview, and/or a mini-version in your thank you note, you are sure to get a hiring manager’s attention. Cause 80% of people just aren’t doing their homework!

Tip #5:

Invest in yourself: both time and money

Most job seekers are not taught, or encouraged, to regularly and consistently invest in themselves and their own development. Therefore, we recommend you invest money as well as time in your precious career! Professional development is becoming increasingly important. With the state of most company’s financials these days, there’s no way they’re going to pay to train you! In other words, professional development becomes a “do-it-yourself” proposition.  Stack those small “c” credentials onto your resume whenever you can. Take side courses, webinars, seminars, and read your business trades … do everything you can to increase your skills and knowledge. Employers will recognize individuals who are better “rounded”, than others who simply have not made the time or taken the opportunity to broaden their skills and knowledge.

Paying attention to the five big career mistakes, will therefore ensure you greater career control, and success!

Watch our vlog on 5 Biggest Career Mistakes here.

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Careers AF! can provide everything you need for learning how to go after your dream job.

Get your copy of Career AF! Today

 

 

 

 

3 Step Process to Manage Your Career!

Career management is complicated. Or, is it?  Yes, it can be overwhelming to try to manage your career goals. But is it impossible?  No, it is not!

Now, some would argue that the future’s actually unmanageable. But here’s me to say, that really, it just not as complicated as you think! There are three aspects of your career that you should focus on at all times:

Step 1: Goals — you need to get them out of your head, and write them down. ANNUALLY.

Step 2: You need to bring all of your marketing tools up to speed ANNUALLY (read: resume, Bio, references, social media profiles, email signature, voice mail signature, cover letters, visuals — visuals are critical — get photos of you in your work environment, out at industry events, at conferences, networking events, create memes, get a screen capture of a Zoom call that you are hosting…) ANY and all visuals will serve!

Step 3: Job search. Let’s unpack that puppy: you need to do job search research. In other words, track companies, track their mandates, track any departmental stakeholders you wish to connect with, build a “business case” (see Careers AF! for instructions), and plot a simple series of “marketing touchdowns” with stakeholders in those companies. It takes more than one try to get a company’s attention! So think about your initial outreach to any given stakeholder, at any given company, and then put some thought into a) what you’ll do if they respond; and b) what you’ll do NEXT if they don’t!

That’s it!!! Do your “career homework”: Goals. Marketing Tools. Job Search strategy. If you take care of these three small steps on an annual basis, your career will take care of itself!

That is all — for now! Stay posted. I have a LOT more to say on this subject in upcoming YouTube vlogs for “Career Activism 2021” series.

Stay tuned. It’s not THAT complicated, and there is a LOT you can do, to manage your career!

Career Perspective: Where is your head at, when it comes to your career?

Where’s your career head at, really?

It’s healthy to get some career perspective: Your career is a life-long process… and it really is all about you. A successful career is a long-term trajectory that (with a little care and homework) will lead you to make the best of your values, your gods-given skills, your unique talents and your personal drive… let alone where and how you want to apply them…

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Job Trends!

…The job market isn’t what it used to be! By following these job trends, you can learn how to make it through the applicant tracking system, and onto the “call for interview” list…

Most people find the job trends by trolling websites (like Indeed and Workopolis), looking for job postings that match their skills and knowledge.

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Give hiring managers the right impression with these tips

Managing your message is critical to ensure you give hiring managers the right impression. I’ve blogged at length this year about how to set up your professional marketing materials to ensure that they represent you properly, and that they are in keeping with 2020 best practices.

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How to get hired from a cold call

How to Go From “Stranger” to “Hired!”

Job Search is a process: it’s hard to break through to people you don’t know, and it’s harder still to get past applicant tracking systems. But there are practical ways to improve on your outreach and get hired… 

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How to build your network and maintain career relationships

It’s not just “all about who you know”, it’s equally about “how you work it”…

It’s very important to build your network –- and managing and leveraging those contacts  consistently, over time, through online and offline networking, is also mission critical. And unless you’re retiring anytime soon, networking is a lifelong process.

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How Important is Personal Branding?

…Now that you’ve got a career plan, it’s time to begin your personal branding…

We probably wouldn’t be human if we didn’t worry about how we are perceived by others. In this blog, I’m addressing personal brands: how we appear to others; how (well) we are received; and most importantly, take our marketing pieces to the next level…

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