Whilst many people are focusing on making healthy living resolutions after Christmas, some use the festive period to contemplate a change in career. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! Nearly 1 in 3 people strike out on a new job search in January, according to a survey by Indeed. So, how do you break the mould and start setting out your career goals for 2017? Follow our top tips below!

1.Update your CV

It may be that you’ve been in your current job for a long time and, consequently, you’ve lost track of the skills you’ve gained since you started the role. Now’s the time to dig out your CV and make sure everything’s up to date, including all the key qualifications and experience you now have.

2.Do some career research

Search Google to find out more about the jobs that interest you and make a list of what typical skills and qualities you need to be considered for the role. Now, contrast these with the skills you believe you already possess. If you identify any gaps, think about how you can go about addressing this – for instance, by taking an online course.

3.Volunteer to gain experience

One really valuable way of boosting your CV is to take on a volunteer position in the industry you’d like to go into. This will not only give you the experience you need, but it will allow you to make valuable contacts which may help you get your dream job in the very near future.

4.Go back to school

If you find your grades are holding you back from pursuing the role you really want to do, take the plunge and sign up to an evening (or online) class to help you get the qualifications you need. Contact your local college or adult learning centre for a list of courses that they provide.

5.Use your holiday wisely

Companies typically run the holiday period from January to December. So, as soon as yours is topped up again, remember to save back holiday in case you want to go to a job interview or take time off to volunteer in your chosen field. Remember, if you leave part way through the year, you’ll have to pay back any days which you’ve taken which exceed the ‘pro-rata’ amount. So, use them sparingly!

6.Contact someone who already does the job

Does someone within your circle of friends or family already work in the industry you’d like to go into? If so, they may be able to give you some valuable advice about how they got to where they are or at least introduce you to some people who could help you kick-start your new career.

For most job searchers, their dream career doesn’t just fall into their laps. Successful career planning is the result of careful research, making contacts in the industry and taking the time to polish your skills/experience so they match what’s required of the role. If you’re serious about changing career, then the new year is the perfect time to start. Good luck!

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