For job seekers and employers alike, it's been a rough year. As 2009 mercifully comes to a close, we asked career experts to offer some New Year's resolutions for those continuing their job searches. From staying positive to taking classes to boost your skills to giving your resume a face-lift, here are some ideas for a career turnaround in 2010. Sacramento (Calif.) Bee
Helen Scully, Scully Career Associates Inc., Roseville, Calif.
• Focus on your assets, not your liabilities. Identify your personal and professional (strengths): a home, good references and your health. These will help you conduct an effective job search or make the right decisions about your current position.
• Develop a strategic plan (for job hunting), write it down and stick to it. If you do not know how to develop a plan, seek professional help so you don't become underemployed or veer off track.
• Many workers are in unfulfilling jobs. Take a comprehensive assessment test to align your job with your strengths and interests.
• Keep your network strong or build one. Whether you are in a job or unemployed, your contacts improve your ability to leverage your career in a positive direction.
• Embrace your full range of options (self-employment, contracting, short-term employment, traditional employment or temporary employment).
Jess Bushey, Ultimate Staffing, Sacramento
• Take another look at the companies and positions where you last applied, the companies that interested you or where you may have been a runner-up.
• The candidate who landed the job may not have been a good fit, or budgetary concerns may have prevented the company from hiring them. Instead of repeating a lengthy recruiting process, the company may tap its pool of finalists. (It could be a good time to reintroduce yourself.)
• Look at your resume with a fresh and critical set of eyes. What skills, talents and achievements did you leave out? What have you learned? Give your resume a face-lift.
• Update your skill set. If your computer or other skills aren't current, beef them up with online or local courses.
• Keep a positive outlook. Employers and job seekers alike want to turn the page on 2009.
Terri Carpenter, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency
• Be as resilient as possible. From January through March, there isn't going to be much hiring activity, so become as prepared as possible to become more marketable.
• Take workshops to fine-tune your interviewing skills. Continue to network, realizing that the peak hiring time is May through September. Be patient.
Richard N. Bolles, author, What Color Is Your Parachute?
Someone once told me, 'I've never done anything I've ever enjoyed. How can I find out what my passion is?' Resolve to pay greater attention when you're enjoying yourself (in work settings), and remember what skills you used then. A lot of shifts can happen in your job skills when you notice what you're best at. We tend to be a nation of complainers, but don't tend to notice when we're enjoying ourselves.