By Winifred Tan
A new year heralds new beginnings. Now is the time when many of us start reflecting on the previous year — good or bad — and making plans to start anew, be it in terms of going back to school, sorting out our personal life, taking up a new position at work, or even making a career switch.
This year, job-hopping appears to be the most popular New Year's resolution among working Singaporeans.
According to a recent poll conducted by JobsCentral, 56% of the 372 respondents surveyed are intending to job hop once they have received their year-end bonus. 25% are planning to stay on, while the remaining 19% are seeking greener pastures due to a lack of bonus. This works out to a total of 75%, or three in every four workers, who will be busy prowling the job market this month.
If you're one of this 75% out hunting for a new job, here are our five suggested resolutions for 2012. May they kick-start a happy and fulfilling career for you in the year ahead!
1. Get organised
Manage your stress level by reducing the clutter in your life. We're not just talking about spring cleaning the bric-a-brac pile up in your office or home; we're also talking about clearing your emotional and mental clutter. Unlike the former, which requires but a few hours of physical exertion to complete, the latter demands considerably much more effort. You need to take time to understand what motivates you, what influences your work performance, and what factors are needed for a job to attract and retain you. Then go ahead and look for these criteria in your next job.
A more organised you means a more productive worker in the long run — you'll be better at taking charge of your thoughts, emotions and schedule, and resilient enough to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.
2. Update your résumé and portfolio
Time to blow off the layer of accumulated dust and polish your résumé and portfolio. When was the last time you seriously updated your résumé? Was it when you were applying for your current job? If so, you have tons to catch up on. Stop procrastinating, and get cracking on all the project achievements and career milestones you should be listing down conscientiously from now on.
3. Networking counts
Going by the "six degrees of separation" theory, every individual on this Earth is connected to everyone else. That is why in this age of social media, every single contact and social networking opportunity counts, especially when you're living in a country as small as ours. Continue to touch base with all your contacts even if they do not seem vital at the current juncture in your career. The next time a colleague invites you out for drinks after work, don't be too quick to turn down his offer either — his friend may just turn out to be the best lead into your next job.
4. Support a cause you're interested in
Life is about so much more than rushing for work and struggling to meet deadlines. Have at least one or two hobbies to occupy your leisure time. Because hobbies are so specific to the interests of each individual, don't let anyone dictate to you whether you should take up yoga, photography, or scrapbooking. Go with what you enjoy doing the most. The best thing about a hobby is the "feel-good" factor, the fulfilment you gain from realising that little piece of your dreams.
5. Reserve "me" time
Last but not least, remember to reserve personal time for yourself. This may seem like the simplest resolution to achieve, but it is sadly all too often neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Recognise that work is not everything in life, for being a better corporate employee does not necessarily make you a better person. Take time off for yourself to breathe, to ponder on your identity and decide who you want to be. Some like to read, to broaden their minds, while others prefer to travel or turn to religion for psychological solace. The ultimate goal is for you to rest, recharge, and regain your peace of mind.
As Mae West would say, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Happy 2012.
The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community.