Turn Your Job Search Upside Down in 2011: 6 New Year’s UN-Resolutions

Ah, New Year’s Eve. A time of noble resolution-making, yet so many get broken while they are still brand-spanking new.

So for 2011, I have a radical idea. Job seekers should decide to make some New Year’s un-resolutions. I mean, we can all make very positive career resolutions that are extremely productive, but shouldn’t we also not resolve to do some of the bad stuff, too?

Un-resolutions are actually the things we wouldn’t consciously do because they just don’t make sense, but a lot of us do them anyway for a lot of reasons, including force of habit, being shy, or even unwilling to adapt to change.

So while you are making your proactive, idealistic resolutions for the coming year, here are some quick un-resolutions to help ‘stay’ the course in 2011:

1) Taking everything personally. Job searching is a tough task, and it is easy to get discouraged, and even feel that not being selected for an interview means that you have no value, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Keep your chin up, your game face on, and remember to circle back to the positives in your life which will help sustain you through the grueling job search process. Attitude is everything!

2) Be unfocused. Ask any career professional, and they’ll say that you absolutely need to have a pin-point precise job search. A wide and imprecise job search is the same as the shotgun approach: You can expend a lot of energy to cover a wider area, but do you ever really hit the mark when spread so thin?

3) Forget about the contacts we’ve made. Paul DeBettignies of Minnesota Headhunter offers this advice: Don’t forget about your network… while the new year brings new opportunities, many people say they have “tapped their network,” but when job seekers are asked how long ago that took place, Paul is constantly told: “Six months ago.” This answer drives him crazy… Like most people hearing this after offering to help job seekers.

The trouble with most people’s networking efforts is that they are acting like icebreaker ships – they are so busy plowing ahead and breaking a new networking channel that they forget that they have to tend to the path they’ve just laid, which requires on-going maintenance to keep the water clear of ice re-forming. Tending to networking connections also requires ‘refreshing’ to avoid losing momentum of the connection that they’ve just made.

4) Wait around for the right job to come along. “Don’t wait for jobs; instead, create one by researching and identifying companies who can use your strengths. Sell them on the problems you can solve,” says Hannah Morgan, of CareerSherpa.

Waiting for that ‘right’ opening can take a long time… So the most important thing you can do right now in a job search is be inventive and be centered on your ability to be the solution to employer pain points. Be a proactive problem solver, and employers will love you for it!

5) Step outside your comfort zones. Sage advice from career guru Miriam Salpeter from Keppie Careers: Don’t avoid trying something new/stepping out of comfort zone.

Change happens to us when we need it most, and the best way to expand your horizon and push the proverbial envelope is to try something different.

6) Ignore your social media/online presence. Shahrzad Arasteh of Career Consulting Services reminds any job seeker that having a positive online presence is better than no (or a bad) social media profile.

With so many employers using tools to scour the Internet to find information on prospective candidates, careful cultivation of one’s professional reputation is critical during a job search and beyond.

What do you think?

Are there some un-resolutions that you’ve discovered that you want to make for 2011?