by Yandee Vazquez, Head Editor, INALJ Texas
Cleaning House: Preparing for a New Year
2014 is right around the corner, and with the parties and well-wishes come the slew of New Year’s resolutions. “Next year I’ll do ‘this’ better or ‘I’ll finally finish ‘that’ project.” I can be a little backwards, so what I like to do is make a resolution or two that I’ll keep by January 1st. It keeps me on my toes and I feel like I’ve finished off the year accomplishing something. Below are some of my pre-New Year Resolutions for 2014.
1. Take some time and look through resumes, cover letters, and references. See what’s outdated, what can be kept, what changes you’ve made, etc. This should be part of an on-going process, but sitting down and looking at your varying supplemental documents without a job in mind might help you spot some gaps that could use more coverage. When you’re looking at references, it’s important to verify information and possible changes in titles. If you’re check your references’ information before Christmas, it may even be nice to send them a card for the holidays if you do that sort of thing.
2. Sit and make a list of achievements, professional and personal. The professional will help you keep track of what you’ve done and you can update the list as the year progresses. This will really come in handy around performance evaluation time. If you feel that you don’t have anything to list professionally, work more heavily on the personal. When you’re looking for a job and can’t seem to find anything, remembering that you have grown and done awesome things personally can show you why you need to stay motivated. Make a list of goals that you can look forward to having accomplished. Most importantly, keep the list somewhere you’ll look at it often!
3. Look closely at your go-to interview outfit. Make sure there isn’t a stain you might have missed or a button that you never noticed came off. Inspect yourself in it critically to see if physical changes mean a different size or a different color combination. Is there some accessory you’ve told yourself you’ll get for the next interview? Maybe it’s a good time to get yourself a nice watch or tie.
4. If you’re currently employed, a good pre-new year task is to look over benefit information. Dental and health plans generally reset around either the new year or August/September. See what changes are coming or how you used your current benefits in order to prepare for future expenses. Also important is to review information regarding your retirement plan/account. Make sure that account is working the way you want it to.
Maybe I won’t completely accomplish them all by January 1st (though I highly recommend looking over #4 before the end of the year!), but at least I’ve started the New Year ready to jump into the job hunt!