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2017 the year of your future career

Updated by Hays UAE, December 2016 

Author: Jenna Alexander, National Head of Internal Recruitment, Hays UK

You know you love your job when it doesn’t feel like work. If you look forward to going into the office on a Monday morning, if you find yourself thinking about ideas and innovations for the business even at the weekend, and if you are genuinely interested in your sector – reading industry publications and listening to podcasts on the train home – then you probably love your job.

This is what passion in the work place looks like. However, if you go through the motions, do the bare minimum and check out mentally the minute the clock strikes 6pm – then you definitely don’t love or possibly even like your job – so why not make 2017 the year of your future career.

1. First things first, what do you really want?

No job will be perfect and every role has its mundane elements, but if you’re going to make 2017 your year you need to think about what you want and what you don’t want. Think about what these elements are alongside how much they contribute to your overall attitude and general enjoyment at work. What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Try to identify any potential jobs that involve either your personal or professional passions, or even a combination of both. If none spring to mind, do a bit of research, look on job boards or social media and speak to a recruiter to gain a general idea of what you could achieve in 2017.

You might be a sales executive in the IT industry, you may love the thrill of pitching and closing deals but don’t have a passion for IT. Sales is a truly versatile skill and as such you could easily move out of one industry (IT in this case) and into another, taking your transferable sales experience with you. Be mindful however, that not every industry is as flexible as sales so if 2017 is the year of your future career, you may need to consider whether or not you’re willing to take one step backwards in order to do what you love in the long term.

2. Are you ready to go out and get it?

Now that you’ve had time to prepare, research and consider what you want, ask yourself this – are you ready to start your mission to finally do what you love in 2017? The question here is whether you are mentally prepared to hunt down your future career. It is not going to be an easy journey and you will need to start by being honest with yourself to understand what is getting in your way – what is your brain block?

Perhaps you have been with your current organisation for a while, feel a sense of loyalty and attachment or simply feel hesitant about resuming that ever-daunting job search after such a long time. Perhaps you can’t quite believe there are roles which would pay you to do what you love, but I can tell you from personal experience that you can be paid well for doing what you love to do – you just have to find it and have the self-belief, motivation and the guts to go out and get it.

Before joining Hays, I worked in the insurance industry. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues but I had no passion for insurance. I did a lot of research into people based industries, fast paced jobs and a job that was challenging and exciting at the same time. I found recruitment, knew nothing about the industry itself but took the plunge. Ten years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.

3. Do you measure up?

It would be naive to think that you will land feet first into the perfect job, just because you know what it is and feel that you deserve it. There may be core elements of your dream role that you aren’t entirely equipped for. This doesn’t have to be a barrier to success. There are plenty of opportunities to up-skill yourself within your own time.

For instance, if you are the IT sales person wanting to secure a sponsorship role in the sports industry, look for books, blog posts or podcasts by people who work in the sporting industry and theoretically learn the tricks of the trade. Pick up the phone, do some market research, network with the right people and prepare for the year ahead.

4. It’s not just what you know but who you know!

Network, network, network, and then network some more. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting yourself in front of the right people. Expand your inner circle and engage with people who work in your desired field or role. You could do this using social media, attending networking events or speaking to highly competent recruiters in the field.  

The one question to ask yourself when building relationships is, can they provide any advice on how you can get to where you want to be in 2017? How can you leverage off these relationships?

5. Make hay while the sun shines, but remember Rome wasn’t built in a day

You’ve started developing your skills, connecting with the right professionals and overall strategy so now is the time to make it happen. Motivation is key and in order to maintain your positive momentum, you need to be realistic, managing your own expectations as to how long this could take. Stay focused, visualise the list you wrote at the beginning of the process and drive yourself forward – never look back.

Remember that although good things may come to those who wait, if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me – don’t let anything stand in the way of you and your future career, after all, 2017 is the year of the fire rooster, the year of new beginnings and prosperity. The year of your future career.

I hope you found this blog useful. For more interesting reading, visit our dedicated blog page here or click on one of the links below.