As we head into the final days of the holiday season it’s time to relax, enjoy family and think about both the challenges of the past year and the opportunities that lay ahead. While we celebrate and enjoy some time off, there is also the nagging realization that the job market has changed, perhaps forever. Workers are demanding more and are focused on balancing not just the demands of the job but their personal needs as well. That’s led to record job openings in retail stores and restaurants with a significant impact on the industry.

If you are one of the many looking for new opportunities in the New Year a few thoughts to keep in mind.

Why are you looking?

If your current job is not working for you, then what are you looking for in a new opportunity? Understanding what you enjoy about your job and what the challenges are will help you think through those job postings. The goal is not to simply get a new job, but to get one where you will be happier and more successful. Think about how to focus your search to make the right decision. Do you feel that pay is the key driver or is it the specific role you will play, the culture of the company, what hours are available or schedule preferences? So many different things to consider, but the right mix will both help you be more successful and lead to you doing a better job for that new employer.

Learn about the company

As you look at available opportunities, try to learn as much as you can about the company. What is their culture, how do they treat their workers, why is the position open? The best way is to use your friends and family to connect with someone that works for the employer or has in the past. If you don’t have any direct contacts, social networks will help but take some of the comments with a grain of salt. Look for trends that reflect a larger problem

Be Professional

Finding the right opportunity is serious business. Focusing on the details will both ensure success and impress the new employer. Dress appropriately for interviews, research the company and come to the interview prepared with questions that will help you make an informed decision.

Plan the Transition

If you’re leaving an employer, being honest about why will help them and perhaps you in the future. It’s never a good idea to burn bridges on the way out, and you never know what the future brings.

And finally, give yourself a break. Searching for and landing a new job is stressful. Employers realize this and should help your first few days be as productive as possible while you learn the company and your new role. Know that you will have some surprises along the way and be flexible to adapt and make the most of the new opportunity.

Good luck in that job search and Happy Holidays from the Capango team!

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