Whether you're in a job or still hunting - make 2017 the year you answer these 4 questions about your career.
It's a quick read that will help you realise your priorities over the next 12 months.
1. "What skills do I actually have?”
The key to being happy at work is doing something you excel at and enjoy. Look back and think of something that motivated you outside the realms of your degree. You may have organised events, coordinated your sports team’s varsity trips, written for the student newspaper or even just killed it on your own personal social media – there are hidden skills in everything you do, take the time this year to figure out what they are and apply for jobs that match. You’re much more likely to land an entry-level job if you can demonstrate how passionate you are about utilising your demonstrable skills.
2. “What’s my ideal job role?”
The first roadblock every university graduate faces on the job hunt is not actually knowing what jobs are out there. And if you don’t understand what is on offer, it’s hard to figure out where or how you’re going to fit in. People are paid to do all sorts of careers, you'd be surprised the amount of opportunities that are actually out there. Go about your daily life thinking, "was someone paid to do that? Is that something I could do?" then do a bit of research into it. Another mistake graduates make is saying something like, "I want to work in Marketing" or "I want to work in Sales" - these are industries, within which there are many different job roles. Be specific with your aspirations and you'll be much more likely to find - and land - something.
3. “Am I there yet? If not, what am I doing to get there?”
If your ideal job role is still an aspiration and not yet a reality, are you doing things that will help you reach your goal? Because you should be, and you know it. If you need Photoshop skills, watch some tutorials on YouTube in your spare time. Network with people in a similar industry, update your LinkedIn profile, speak to recruiters, read up on the latest industry trends – whatever it is you do, make sure it’s meaningful. Make 2017 the year you break out of your comfort zone.
4. “If I’m already in my ideal job role, is it making me happy?”
You can go your whole life thinking you want to work in Banking, but you won’t know for sure if it’s for you until you’ve actually got a job in Banking. If something still doesn’t feel right – even after you’ve “made it” – then don’t be afraid to rethink your career. Similarly, if you still enjoy the industry - or even your company - but are still unhappy in work, then simply ask why. Your manager could not be giving you the training and guidance you crave, or you could be feeling underappreciated - whatever it is, work towards bringing up your issues professionally and appropriately to ensure you're as happy as you can be.