Ditch the New Year’s Resolution… Create a Career Action Plan!

New Year calendarHey… do you want to read another post about how to set New Year’s resolutions for a successful job or internship search?

Sorry. This isn’t one of them.

There are plenty of those… maybe you’ve even read one or two before realizing they all have the same advice for improving your life starting on that magical January 1st morning.

We assign this one day a year (or maybe January 2nd, depending on how awesomely you celebrated New Year’s Eve) as the day we’re going to finally make life changes… start going to the gym… learn Spanish … and get that resume out there.

The truth is…

January 1st isn’t magical. It’s a date on the calendar like any other.

But perhaps therein lies the magic. Any date can be made a special starting day – even today.

Let’s say you have an immediate goal… you’re going to get an internship or a new job. A good goal, and one that will take a fair amount of work to achieve. Try to achieve this objective on all at once, full speed on January 1st, and you may quickly burn out in a disorganized fireball.

Instead, why not break up the larger process into smaller, more manageable pieces over the course of several days, weeks, or even months.

Maybe something like this…

January 2 – Start an Internship or Job Search

  • Goal – write / update resume and have it reviewed by at least two professionals

January 3 – Research Companies to Target

  • Goal – have at least 30 companies thoroughly researched by January 6

January 5 – Build a LinkedIn Profile; Clean Up Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Accounts

  • Goal – have social media accounts ready by January 6

January 6 – Begin Applying for the Internships or Jobs You’ve Researched

  • Goal – apply for all internships or jobs in this first group by today

January 7 – Prepare for Interviews

  • Goal – practice common interview questions; prepare interview clothes (iron, dry-clean etc.)

January 10 thru 25 – Interviews and Networking

  • Goal – learn from each interview; improve with each experience
  • Aggressively network – online and offline; build new contacts; participate in Twitter chats and complete your LinkedIn profile

January 25 – Research Second Round of Companies to Apply for Internships or Jobs

  • Goal – have at least 30 new companies thoroughly researched by February 1
  • Goal – At least 20 of the new companies/opportunities should be a result of networking

February 1 – Ideally Have Interviewed for, and Accepted, an Internship or Job!

  • Goal – major celebration – and selecting and planning for major internship or job goal 2 of 12
  • Goal – if the search is still in progress, review activity during first month; make improvements where needed; begin process again with the new 30 companies

A year from nowOf course, this is just one example to get a “resolute” thought process started – and to keep it organized, fun – and doable (without burning out). Perhaps use the first day of each month in 2014 for starting other major goals and projects – like another New Year’s Day – and celebrate each of your achievements as you cross them off your to-do list!

When 2014 is done, look back on the year and at up to twelve “New Year’s” resolutions accomplished – rather than just one you set out to achieve on January 1st.






Dave EllisAbout the Author: Dave Ellis is an original member of the YouTern team and is instrumental to its success… in fact, he’s so awesome there wouldn’t be a YouTern without him (and he might have written this bio himself). Dave serves as YouTern’s Content Manager and Social Media Community Manager, and enjoys his role as the company’s “Man Behind the Curtain”. In his spare time, Dave volunteers, rescuing and rehabilitating sea lions and baby elephant seals. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter!


Image courtesy of missionaryblogdigest.wordpress.com and Etsy.com… thank you!



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