14. Creating Good Habits for Career Success: 7 “Must Do” Actions for Job Hunters
In this podcast episode, I focus on 7 habits you must create not only to help you find your next job but also for you to have great confidence and success in your career.
Together with episodes 12 and 13, this episode is a companion to my 31 Days of Actions to Reset your Career, a project I’ve created to help professionals make the most out of this month of January and take 1 day at a time in creating new habits and taking actions that will have a positive effect in their career advancement and job hunting prospects. This can be used throughout your career, year, it’s not a January-only strategy. It’s really an opportunity for you to press the reset button whenever you feel ready, and incorporate these actions in your life. At least give them a try! If you want to follow the 2nd half of the project day by day, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or my company LinkedIn page.
1. Go for a 30-minute walk before or after work.
- It resets your mind: if you’ve been sitting all day or will be sitting all day, you need a breather.
- It gives you the opportunity to rest from work and worries: listen to your fun podcast (see my post for Day 8!) or music, or call your friend, or meditate.
- It gives you the opportunity to review your plans and make new ones: listen to your sector or professional development podcast (again, see post from Day 8!), think about your achievements for the day, or what you plan to do today.
2. Post an article on LinkedIn aligned to your expertise.
If you are following the 31 Days of Actions to Reset Your Career, you are now ready to start networking online and sharing some knowledge with your network. You have it all together. Don't be reluctant to start posting on LinkedIn, it is a really great way to get noticed by people who can directly hire you, or can advocate for you. To find a great article you have read recently - about your sector, professional interest – and share on LinkedIn:
- Add your own words: a couple of sentences to explain why this article is a great read.
- Add some hashtags to make your post reach out to those who are interested in the topic – LinkedIn is great at providing you with hashtags. 2 or 3 is all you need.
- Watch out for comments: if someone comments, you reply back. Don’t leave them hanging. This is about establishing new connections.
- And if no one comments, don’t feel bad! Establish a routine of posting every week, and you will learn how to establish better connections, and your network will understand the shift and start engaging more over time.
3. Connect with all your professional connections on LinkedIn.
We are in constant transition and having to re-think how we actually keep tabs with technology and what is the simplest possible way to do things these days. So if there are important connections sitting in your contacts, which you are not yet linked to on LinkedIn, use this upcoming weekend to send them a connection invitation.
4. Envision what your career might be like. Write it down.
Writing down your goals and dreams is really important:
- It helps clarify your dreams, what you want to achieve.
- It motivates you to take action.
- Doing this “brain dump” exercise will clear your head; clear all the noise and confusion your thoughts have a tendency to create, especially on a Sunday evening!
- You will start your week with a huge weight off your back, and a new-found inspiration to put your plans into action.
5. Follow 3 people on LinkedIn with profiles and careers you admire.
The difference between Following and Connecting on LinkedIn:
- You should “connect” with people you know.
- You should “follow” people you do not know, but you want to see what they post, and want their posts to show up on your feed.
Following is important because it allows you to:
- have a LinkedIn feed of posts from top leaders in your profession;
- follow recruiters and headhunters without adding them as connections;
- follow companies that you are interested in.
Sometimes people Follow when they should Connect
- I always think it’s strange when I meet someone and the next thing I know, they are “following” me. I’d rather they “connect” with me instead!
- If you went to a conference or event and saw a senior leader speak and it inspired you, you can write to them on LinkedIn, explain how much you enjoyed their speech/presentation, and invite them to connect with you.
Sometimes people Connect when they should Follow:
- If you have never ever met a professional, you should follow.
- Even if you share 100 connections with someone, you should follow.
- If you heard them speak at a conference or event, but you haven’t met them AND you don’t want to write anything to them, you should follow.
6. Download a list of Action Verbs and keep it easy to access.
Actions verbs are verbs that clearly demonstrate an action. Opposite of Action verbs are Linking/Being verbs. See the difference below:
- I am the general manager – being verb; versus
- I manage a team of 15 professional staff - action verb.
Employers like to see action verbs in your resume. I’d extend that to not only your resume but all your written job-hunting communication. In a limited amount of “real estate”, action verbs maximize impact. Note the difference between the two statements below:
- I worked in fundraising for 10 years.
- I created a fundraising campaign that generated $350,000 in donations during 2019.
As you can see above, action verbs are strong action words that help define your experience, skills, and career accomplishments. If you don’t use them to explain your career, you are not emphasizing your strengths well enough.
Recruiter’s preferred action verbs are: achieved, improved, trained, mentored, managed, created.
Download Now a complete list of career-related action verbs, organized by type of work/task completed:
What do you need to do?
✔️Keep the list of action verbs always close to you and easily accessible.
✔️Go through your resume and replace the boring verbs with action verbs.
✔️Be mindful of future communication and continue to strive and use action verbs whenever possible.
7. Read a career development article or blog.
There’s so much noise these days, so much distraction it’s easy to spend time with things that add nothing to our lives, wellbeing, and knowledge. It’s not so much that we spend too much time on our phones, it’s that we do, and we can’t even remember what we were looking at! So have the right triggers in place to help you use that time well. Find great podcasts to listen to, download good apps with news and articles that add value to your life. You can even learn a few foreign words, a new recipe, or update your knowledge on your favorite topic while driving, walking, or cooking.
Reading career-related articles should be a must for professionals going through career transitions, who are job searching at the moment or thinking and strategizing about their next steps. Find someone you trust and follow them. Could be sector-specific, general leadership skills, or career advancement advice.