Whether you’ve been in a job for a while and are looking for a new challenge, or you’re new to the workforce, deciding what’s next for your professional life can seem like a daunting task.
For years, Gloria Welton has been helping Islanders navigate their careers with the Career Development Association of P.E.I.
Blake Doyle, owner of Island Recruiting, says things start ramping up in December, which is one of the busiest times of the year for him.
“With the start of a new year, a lot of people take on new perspectives and new approaches, and careers are often one of those [things] that people make a change in,” he said.
Whether that’s Instagram or Facebook or Twitter — those are kind of permanent reflections of their ideology or their brand.— Blake Doyle, Island Recruiting
“It shocks me every year … I would have intuitively thought that December would be a quiet month, people are shopping, distracted with other activities but it’s always the busiest month. But it’s only busy because companies are planning and they’re planning to hire individuals.”
Whether you’re looking for a new challenge, to make more money, or explore an entirely new field, here are few things to keep in mind on your job hunt in 2020.
Reflect and evaluate
“The first step would be to really know your interests, your values, your abilities and your skill set,” Welton said.
“You really have to look at everything about your life … you know, what really hold your interests?”
After that, Welton said it’s useful to compile a list of the local sectors or industries that align with your personality and abilities.
It’s also beneficial to consult a career counsellor who can guide you through aptitude and personality tests that may direct you to a job or career you’re better suited for.
She notes there are career counselling services available across the Island. Organizations like the Newcomers Association of P.E.I. and the P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities are just two places that offer services and resources to those on the job hunt.
Work PEI and Career Development Services also have lists of available jobs online.
Polish and prepare
Making sure you’re prepared to take the next step in your career typically includes dusting off your resumé, Doyle said.
But there is an increasing focus on social media presence and it’s important to make sure your brand and social media pages appear clean, professional and polished.
“You always want to be conscious of something that you’re going to post. How might that affect you in the future,” he said.
Doyle said people applying for jobs should be “very aware of” any social media profiles they control.
“Whether that’s Instagram or Facebook or Twitter — those are kind of permanent reflections of their ideology or their brand,” he said.
There are professionals in the community that are there to help.— Gloria Welton, Career Development Association of P.E.I.
“Because employers can go in and look at that and trace back to the history and kind of make an assessment on somebody, rightly or wrongly, based on some of the things that they’ve posted in social media.”
Another thing to take into account is how well your brand aligns with the future career or position you’re interested in, and whether you represent the “ideal role of the company,” Doyle said.
In the modern workforce, Welton said that employers tend to rely on social media as opposed to professional references.
“I remember not too long ago, a financial company received an application and they said they were looking for that person on LinkedIn and couldn’t find that person and just set that resumé aside,” she said.
“So you really have to consider being strong on social media.”
Once you’ve figured out what you’re best suited to and you’ve ensured your social media presence is professional, Welton said it’s time to put together an action plan.
“You want to identify the steps to take, like who do I talk to, who can help me with this. What kind of financial resources do I need for this?”
Your action plan could even include going back to school to upgrade your skill set or finding training or mentorship options, she said.
“Within that action plan, it’s a whole kind of mapping for you.”
Keep calm and resumé on
If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, Welton wants to remind Islanders that there are resources.
“Be aware that there’s professionals out there and that’s part of our role,” she said.
“To let people know that they’re not alone in their their goal setting, or career management, or job search hunt. That there are professionals in the community that are there to help.”