Get to know your strengths
The start of a new year is the perfect time to reconnect with your strengths. Knowing and developing your character strengths can have a significant impact on your quality of life as well as a positive effect on your relationships, your career and your personal growth.
There are several online tools that can help you learn more about yourself. One of the best is a free survey at the VIA Institute which takes about 15 minutes and gives you a report that outlines your top strengths.
Knowing your personality strengths and core values will help you look for the sort of work which will inspire and motivate you, or help you get back to what’s really important. You might even be surprised by what turns up.
Learn something new
New jobs that have never been heard of are being created every day. To stay relevant, it’s important that we now all see ourselves as life-time learners.
Digital and computer skills are obviously hugely important. Coding is the language of the future, so view it in the same way you would any other language and jump in and immerse yourself.
Check out the courses on offer from General Assembly and The Coder Factory. The Coder Factory has just launched Australia’s first accredited coding boot camp, which means you may be eligible for VET FEE-HELP government assistance.
Volunteer for a cause
In his popular TED talks, Simon Sinek explains that when you help others, both you and the person you serve get a release of oxytocin. Not only does it give you the warm and fuzzies, but oxytocin boosts our immune systems and enables us to be better problem solvers.
Find a charity or a cause that means something to you and get involved. You’ll meet more people who care about what you do, and gain great new skills and experience at the same time.
Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people and expand your network beyond your existing circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Get to know new people and ask what they do as well. You might end up finding a new opportunity you never thought about before, or meeting someone who can give you a hand on the way to where you want to go.
Create a digital work profile
We live in a digital world, so it’s time to make sure that you have a digital version of your CV as well as knowing where and how recruiters are looking for people in 2016.
The first step is to make sure you have a completed LinkedIn profile with as much relevant information as possible. At a minimum you need a professional-looking headshot, a snappy summary and details of your past positions and education. If you don’t have a headshot, find someone else’s you like and ask a friend with an iPhone to help you create something similar.
Many human resources departments are now using technology like LiveHire to find the right person for vacant positions, instead of posting a job ad and sifting and rejecting through hundreds of applications, so make sure to use it as well.
Remember to add links to your work profiles to all your social media accounts and email signature.
Work for a start-up company
There is a big shift going on in job creation. From 2006 to 2011, there were 1.44 million jobs created in businesses that were two years old or less. During the same period, there were 400,000 jobs lost in older businesses.
Start-up companies are also more likely to offer more flexible working arrangements and new opportunities to use your skills in ways you might not have thought about before. They are also certain to be grateful for your skills and will value them.
But those benefits will also come with a lot of hard work. Early-stage companies are hungry, fast-paced and ambitious – and they expect their employees to have a similar attitude.
Sean Hall is the Head of Employee Experience at LiveHire. Before that he was a General Manager, Employee Experience at Telstra.