5 Little Things To Do Now If You Want to Make Career Moves Next Year

published Dec 27, 2020
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It’s a major understatement to say that 2020 has changed the way almost everyone works. More people than ever began working from home, and either upgraded their home office supplies or completely overhauled their workspaces entirely. But what to do if the thing you want to change most is… well, your job itself?

The new year is typically the right time to start thinking about career moves; as Flex Jobs points out, “the first quarter of the year is typically considered the best time of the year to find a new job.” Millions of people were out of work at some point this year—and millions more still are—so trying to find a job in a very competitive climate can feel daunting. Here are five tasks you can own between now and Jan. 1 so that you feel confident and prepared.

Revamp your résumé and/or portfolio

Even if you worked on a project you’re particularly proud of this year, it can be easy to forget to update your résumé to reflect that. Take five to 10 minutes to make sure your contact information is up to date, and scan for any typos or formatting inconsistencies like changing verb tenses. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your experience distilled to one page; if you have over a decade of experience, you might want to expand beyond that limit, Monster notes. And if you’re worried that your résumé is plain and doesn’t stand out, don’t be: As The Muse points out, “A great traditional resume will be better than a mediocre creative one, every single time.”

Ask yourself what you want your life to look like in the next few months or years

This goes beyond holding a certain title or how you want to outfit your corner office. Do you want to move back to your childhood hometown, or to a new city (or country) entirely? What steps would you need to take to get there? Do you want to keep research the average salary of your job and jobs like yours, the more equipped you’ll be to have that conversation. It also helps to practice talking about money with your loved ones, as preparation for talking with a recruiter or hiring manager.

Credit: I Spy DIY

Assess your social media accounts

A 2017 survey by Career Builder found that 70 percent of employers look at an applicant’s social media accounts—and 54 percent have eliminated a candidate from consideration based on something they found there. Setting your accounts to private while you’re job searching can serve as a handy shortcut, but it’s also a good reminder to assess your day-to-day posts anyway.

Organize the files you need

Consolidating various résumés, cover letter formats, headshots, credentials, and/or licenses into one easy-to-access drive can save you so much time and headache in the long run. When I was searching for a new job earlier this year, I kept one Google Drive file with two kinds of résumés—one with live hyperlinks, and a minimally-formatted option for printing—as well as article clips I was particularly proud of. You’re going to need these assets over and over again, so dedicating one space for them to live digitally will give you peace of mind as you begin filling out applications.