by Rachel Vilsack

As we approach the New Year, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s working in your job search and what isn’t.  How can you maintain momentum in 2014? Try setting some intentions now.

What’s an Intention?

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, which never seen to make their way past the first week of January. Why set yourself up for disappointment? Instead, consider setting some job search intentions. This isn’t a goal about what you want to do; rather, it’s a determination to act in a certain way.

intentionNeed some ideas to get started? Here are some examples of possible job search intentions:

  • Connect with at least one new person every day. You might attend a networking or job club. (Most WorkForce Centers around Minnesota offer weekly job clubs.) Or you might engage in conversation with a cashier, bank teller or the person sitting next to you on the bus. Whether you just exchange pleasantries or have a deeper conversation, you just never know when an unexpected connection (to a job, an employer, etc.) might happen!
  • Take your connections further by setting up an information interview.  An informal meeting with a company you want to work for or a professional in a career field you aspire to work in can be a great way to learn about the skills and experience needed for the job.
  • Investigate social media. I know it’s not easy to put yourself online on social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, but many employers use these sites to connect with job candidates. I say “investigate” because you can always do some research and then decide if an online profile is right for you.
  • Become a volunteer. Even though it’s an unpaid position, a volunteer opportunity can be a great way to enhance your skills, gain experience and build your professional references. Think about what skills you want to add to your resume and then find an organization where you can develop those talents.
  •  Learn one new thing every day. We are all engaged in lifelong learning. What one new thing can you learn today from an article, website, or YouTube video? The possibilities may be endless.

Make a list of job search intentions that work best with your current job search or career plan. Avoid setting too many intentions; you don’t want to be overwhelmed. For greater success, post your list somewhere (like in an appointment book or near a computer) where you’ll see them every day. If you need accountability, share your intentions with a friend or family member who can provide support or offer encouragement.