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Five Useful Tips for Landing a New Job in 2014

Feb 18, 2014 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Education.org Columnist | 0 Comments

Still looking for a job in the New Year? You’re not alone. As of December 2013, approximately 10.4 million Americans are unemployed—and far more are underemployed. However, you can use the first few weeks of 2014 as a new start. Here are a few steps you can take to get your career going in 2014—and make the career switch you’ve been wanting to make.

Set one or two concrete goals

It’s ot uncommon for people to set long lists of goals for New Years. After all, a year is a long time—and you should be able to get a lot done, right? Not so fast. Large numbers of challenging goals can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, set only one or two solid goals for your career—and then break down the steps it will take to get there into small actions you can take on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. This will make your goal-setting much more manageable—and make it more likely you’ll hit the finish line.

Make a list of people who can help you

Nobody gets a great career on their own. Chances are, you already know a few people who might offer you insight, connections, or possible opportunities. Make a list of the people you can think of who might be able to help you get where you want to go—and resolve to make contact with one of them a week, one of them a month, or during a timeframe that’s realistic for you.

Find ways to network

If your list of people who could possibly be of help isn’t very long, now’s the time to start making it longer. Think about where you could go—both online and off—to forge connections with people who can help you get to the next stage in your career. Whether that means finding online blogs and forums devoted to your industry or attending a more formal in-person networking event, see what your options are for making new connections.

Get your online life together

When employers search for your name, will they get a positive professional impression of you? Do a search for your name in Google and see what comes up. If it’s mostly casual pictures of you goofing off with friends, make a resolution to develop a more career-friendly online footprint. That could mean cleaning up your social media profiles, setting up a website or blog devoted to your career, or other ways to put a more professional foot forward online.

Find out what education you need

If a lack of degree is what’s holding you back, the new year is a great time to make plans to rectify that. If you don’t already know, do some research into the next job you’d like to land in your career—and find out whether a certain degree or certification is either required or viewed positively. If you don’t already have all the qualifications you need, do some research into traditional or accredited online degree programs.

Breaking out of chronic underemployment—or going from a state of no job to gainful employment—isn’t easy for anyone. However, you can take positive steps in the first weeks of 2014 that, if you stick with them, could have real results throughout the year. Consider the type of education you need, if that’s applicable for the job you want; if it is, start looking into programs and options. Think about establishing a concrete goal or two at most; don’t overwhelm yourself with too many. And make an effort to build the connections and relationships it will take to get you to the next stage. With persistence, these steps are likely to get you closer to your goal.

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