January 1 glasses on notepad

Happy New Year!  For many, Jan. 1 signals a fresh start or new beginning.

Though roughly 50 percent of Americans will make resolutions for self-improvement or change such as losing weight, quitting smoking or finding a new job, it’s estimated that only eight percent will succeed.

Don’t let this be you!

For job seekers, this can be a good time of year to reorganize your search efforts and hit the ground running. Maybe you’ve reached your highest potential in your current position or maybe you’re just ready for a new challenge. Whatever your motivation, finding a new job or identifying a new career in the new year won’t just happen without some work.

You need more than a positive attitude and hope – you need a plan.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to find a new job, here are some tips to keep you on track and successful in your endeavors.

Goal setting is a great way to create a step-by-step process detailing how you will achieve your resolution. Remember, the best goals are clearly defined and measurable.

Don’t just click “apply:”

Blindly applying to whichever jobs pop up during your search is not a good strategy. Instead, you should be tailoring your applications and cover letters to specific jobs.

To help with this, set a goal of identifying 10 to 12 companies that you would you like to work for. This will help guide your resume writing so that when you apply, you have a better chance of standing out as a candidate.

Tip: Once you identify 10 to 12 companies, look them up on LinkedIn and then scroll down to the “People Also Viewed” section and find similar companies that you could add to your list later.

Also, once you identify the types of companies you’d like to work for, contact a recruiter at The Lee Group staffing office closest to you (we are in Newport News, Richmond and Chesapeake). We represent a wide variety of companies in various industries and can help place you.


Sometimes it’s hard to realize what you get out of attending networking functions, but don’t let that deter you. Instead, set a goal of being more intentional about the events you choose to attend in the new year.

Instead of just meeting with anyone in your industry, start focusing on people who are at the companies you’re interested in, which will maximize the chances for you to be exposed to relevant opportunities. Set a goal of meeting with 1 to 2 new people a week to expand your circle.

Stay busy:

Aside from intentional networking, it’s also important to stay busy during your job search with activities that will boost your resume and help you meet new people.

Volunteering, for example, can give you something pertinent to talk about during interviews and introduce you to like-minded people. Similarly, getting involved in professional organizations can be incredibly valuable.

Set a goal to put at least one non-work professional activity each month on your calendar (or more if you’re really trying to land something soon). Offer to volunteer at an event, try helping out with organizing a nonprofit’s summer social, or even run for a position on the board of directors.

In addition to the above, here are some other ideas for New Year’s goals that will put you on a productive path in 2019.

Learn new skills:

While you’re working on goals specific to job hunting, it also makes sense to enhance your work-related skills. Change is happening all around you, so it’s important to stay relevant to employers.

Prepare for interviews:  

Enlist members of your network, friends or family to help you improve your interview skills. Mock interviews are a great way to help you feel more comfortable when it’s time for the real thing.

Build your personal brand:

Your social media profiles are part of this, but branding goes beyond those sites. Consider creating a personal website to display some of your work and show off your skills. You also might want to create a blog, and add new content to it frequently. Anything you can do to make it easy for potential employers to find you and learn about your abilities will be helpful.


Even if you’re not an avid reader, consider picking up a couple self-development books. In addition to the valuable information that may be inside them, research also suggests that motivational books filled with positive words and uplifting concepts will, in turn, lift you up and generally make you happier. A few highly-rated books are: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey; How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Bottom line – If you are diligent and stick to your goals, you have the opportunity to make some changes in 2019.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Questions? Want some guidance as you look for a new job? Contact us!

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