What Every Job Seeker Should Have on Their New Career Wishlist This Holiday Season
By Arielle Spears
The winter holiday season offers many people the chance to reflect on the past and the possibilities yet to come. This is also a great time to start looking for a job if you are considering a career change. But, before you start gifting employers your resume, ho-ho-hold on, and make a list of what you want from a position or company.
Creating a career wishlist can help you focus your search efforts, find roles that fit your personality, build a growth plan, and so much more. While you develop your wishlist, you’ll want to:
Examine why you are job hunting in the first place
Determine your professional values, such as accountability, respect, trust, etc.
Analyze how your life has been impacted or changed by your previous career path or job roles
You’ll also want to consider career benefits outside of salary, healthcare, and vacation. These are often at the top of the list of reasons why people seek to change careers, however, there are many other factors that contribute to job satisfaction. By identifying what you want in a position beyond the basics, you can better tailor your search to maximize your work success and happiness.
Need some inspiration on what to add to your career wishlist? Here are some of the benefits we encourage the graduates of our San José State University Tech Bootcamps to look for in positions:
Autonomy is one of the best presents you can give yourself. In the workplace, autonomy means that employees have the freedom to do their jobs as they see fit. This can look like a job that allows you to:
Lead your projects
Set your deadlines
Provide feedback on key initiatives
Select your preferred tools or programs to use
A Harvard Business Review study published in 2021 surveyed over 5,000 knowledge workers around the world about their desired future employment arrangements. More than 60% of respondents stated that autonomy was highly valued.
Autonomy also can reduce micromanaging in the workplace. As a result of micromanagement, you may lose confidence in your abilities and your performance could be adversely affected. If you have experienced a work environment that included micromanaging, you may want to add autonomy to your wishlist.
Take a cue from Santa and pick a work environment that is best for your productivity and lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be the North Pole. Some people find that working at an office building is more productive for them, while others may find a hybrid role or remote work environment fits them better. Since the initial spread of Covid-19 in 2020, remote work has become more common as well as more in-demand. According to the aforementioned Harvard Business Review global report on autonomy and flexibility, researchers found that 77% of respondents preferred companies that give them the flexibility to work from anywhere. You may prefer remote work if you like an environment you can control or want to eliminate your daily commute. Every environment has limitations and benefits, however, it is up to you to determine what is right for you.
Creativity is a cornerstone of innovation and progress, helping to drive the evolution of companies and the world. You'll want to add creativity to your wishlist if you yearn to let your imagination or out-of-the-box thinking shine.
You don’t have to be an elf to use your creativity in the workplace. Some tech careers that can utilize your creative skills include cybersecurity analyst, front-end web developer, and data analyst to name a few!
Growth Opportunities Within the Company
By adding growth opportunities to your wishlist, you set yourself up to avoid feelings of being stuck or trapped in a role, which could occur when you plateau at a company. The possibility of advancing in a company can improve your sense of well-being by providing you with a goal to work toward and increase your sense of accomplishment when you progress further in your career journey.
Career changers seeking growth opportunities may find it advantageous to develop tech skills. Tech spans many industries, providing both lateral and vertical scale growth for professionals. Tech skills can be developed and advanced quickly with accelerated online programs.
Education or Learning Benefits
Education benefits are the gift that keeps on giving. The world is ever-evolving, and ongoing innovation is changing the ways that industries operate. To stay relevant and ensure you can compete in not only today’s job market, but in the job market of tomorrow, career development is essential to have on your career wishlist. For example, many companies provide financial support or incentives for employees to gain or improve tech skills from career training bootcamps, college, and more.
The workday may not only come once a year, but there are many positions and careers that can provide you with work-life balance. According to Mayo Clinic, a poor work-life balance can cause job burnout and long-term negative health effects. Some impacts can include excessive stress in your personal life, fatigue, insomnia, sadness, anger, irritability, and much more. Poor work-life balance can also cause damage to your personal relationships and work performance. If you have ever found yourself regularly working long, extra hours, feeling like you have no control over work, or having trouble concentrating at work, those may be signs you’ve suffered from poor work-life balance.
Finding a company or career that aligns with your work-life expectations can help you achieve the balance you need to stay merry and bright all year long. For example, many tech positions provide a wealth of work-life balance opportunities, including:
A wide range of shifts and flexible schedules to meet your needs
Set work times and no “on-call” hours to maintain personal boundaries
Remote work environments to eliminate time spent on commuting
San José State University Tech Bootcamps can help you gain the tech skills that employers are looking for and the career support you need to land jobs that are a good fit for your wishlist.