As 2014 draws to a close, we start to look ahead at what the new year will bring. Many of us will be making resolutions to lose weight, find love, save some money or get our career into shape. Whilst we can't help you with the former, we do have a list of top tips to help you get the best out of your career in 2015 whether you’re looking for a new job or not.
A new year is traditionally the time to make a new start and whether you're looking to make a big change and get a new job or a small change like spending less time worrying about your workload, this is the best time to stand back and take a look at your career and make those changes.
Give your career a “detox”
After December’s late nights, parties and family visits, January can be a time for a welcome, reflective pause. If you find yourself at home with a herbal tea instead of going out to the pub, why not use this time to do an early spring-clean of your career?
Get right back to basics and write down what you’re enjoying in your job, what you’re not and ask yourself if what you’re doing now is really where you want to be at this stage in your life? If not, is it at least on the right path? Once you’ve got down to the basics, you may find it easier to see the wood and not just the trees.
Update your CV
When was the last time you really looked at your CV? It’s a lot easier to update your accomplishments regularly, when they’re still fresh in your head, but we all know that it’s very easy to forget about updating this vital document when things are going well.
Have a think about what you’ve done in the last year and list the successes you’ve been part of. Also, make sure that you have some of the basic information covered – direct reports, turnover, employment dates etc. Even if you’re not planning on finding a new job immediately, doing some of this basic legwork now will really pay off later.
Take on new challenges
When was the last time you really stretched yourself in your job? If you’re stuck in a rut, maybe now is the perfect time to get yourself out of it. Are there projects outside your job description that you could get involved with, or even initiate?
Be proactive, come up with new ideas and make them happen. Get off the hamster wheel and step outside your comfort zone. It won’t go unnoticed and it could be the start of something that really gets you excited.
Learn something new
Is there an area of your job you’d like more training on? Maybe there’s a new skill you’ve been itching to learn but haven’t quite gotten around to it? If you’ve always left your training and development up to your manager, make 2015 the year you take control. It doesn’t have to be process-led training – even soft skills like communication could do with a spruce up from time-to-time.
If your employer is worried about the cost, suggest some peer-to-peer training within your current team. If you’re feeling really bold you could even offer to train other members of the team on the areas at which you already excel and boost your presentation skills in the process!
Get a pay rise
Money is a common theme in resolutions, so make sure that you’re getting what you deserve at work. Take a look at what other people are earning in similar positions. If you think you deserve more, start making a case by listing out your notable achievements or changes in responsibility since your last review.
Think about all of the important tasks you carry out, responsibilities you bear and benefits you bring to the company. Think about any initiatives you have undertaken that might have saved the company money, new policies you helped implement or new staff with whose training you have become involved.
If you're serious about changing jobs, there's only one way you're going to find out about the best opportunities and that's to make sure you're getting them sent straight to you as soon as they come up. If you haven't signed up to jobs by email at retailappointment.co.uk then you're really missing out on a key service that will send you only the jobs that meet your exact criteria so you can get ahead of the crowds.
Be more productive
Maybe you only want to make some small changes in order to feel fully happy in your job. If you know that you’ve become easily distracted in work recently, the new year is a great chance to iron out those bad habits.
If you’re addicted to social media, try to plan reasonable breaks during the day and only check your updates then. If you have a problem leaving your phone alone, put it out of sight. Take a look at your work space and see what you can do to make it more conducive to a productive working day.
Use your time better
If you’ve been working yourself into the ground as 2014 drew to a close, use this opportunity to start afresh in the new year. You don’t always need to work harder, but work smarter. Use your time at work in such a way that you can be productive and achieve your goals without having to stay late, work through every lunch or even come in on your days off. If you can, delegate more in order to free your time up on tasks that are equal to your level within the business.