Well, here we are! You have almost made it through 2018, for better or for worse! Now it’s time to hit the pavement and focus on finding a new job or career in 2019!

Here are a few questions and ideas that will help you build momentum in your job search in the upcoming year!


If you want to get 2019 started on the right foot, you’re going to need to get your professional life in order. The first step is to think about all the aspects of your professional career – past, present, and future.

Where you are now: If you are currently unemployed, you need to get focused on how you will make a transition into your new career. If you are currently working, but are considering new options for 2019, you also need to get focused on your career search. Otherwise, you will find yourself in the same job in 2020, leaving you even more dissatisfied than you are right now.

For your last job: Have you contacted people who could give you references? How are you going to stay in touch with them? What will they say to support your move to a new position? If you left your last job under difficult circumstances, what can you do to get rid of any bad feelings of anger, fear, or resentment? Sometimes, career coaching can be helpful with this.

For your current job: Have you spoken confidentially with people who have agreed to give you references? How will you make a smooth transition from this position to another? Do you have unfinished business at this job? Think about everything you would need to do when you give notice and only have two weeks to close everything out. Then… get a jumpstart on it and do what you can now!

Documents: Have you recently updated your resume? Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Do you have a portfolio that includes your recent duties and accomplishments? Remember, when you leave your job, you cannot take confidential information. But it is your responsibility to keep your own records of your career.

Job search plan: Before embarking on your job search, you should have a written plan in place, with tangible goals for what you intend to do. If you want a new job by April 1st, what is your 90-day plan? Exactly what will that job look like? Have you made a list of all the people you can contact to help you with your job search? How many hours a week do you realistically plan to devote to this?


This is the “life” part of the “work/life balance” that everyone always talks about!

Where you are now: If you are unemployed, you should “clear the decks” so you will be ready to go right to work as soon you get your new job. Even if you are working now, this kind of prep can still help. If your personal life is disorganized, it will impact your ability to focus on the job search.

Home Office: Is your office in good shape? Have you cleared out old paperwork, particularly anything related to your past job? Are your computer files, such as e-mail records, cleaned up? The end of the year is a good time to get rid of anything that will not help you in 2019. For things you do want to keep, such as performance reviews, put them in storage. When was the last time you actually cleaned your office thoroughly? Are your plants healthy?

2018 Taxes: Here’s an unusual strategy: What if you assume that you will be too busy with your new job in March and April to properly focus on your taxes? This gives you a great incentive to get everything in order now, particularly if you have a refund coming. Getting a jump on your taxes is an excellent way to emotionally and financially close things down for 2018.

Personal Care: There are things we do not often discuss as professionals. For example, when was the last time you went through your closet? Do you have an appropriate wardrobe if you got a new job tomorrow? Are there medical appointments you can take care of now? Does your pet need to go to the veterinarian? Does your car need servicing? Does your house need to have clutter cleared or repairs made? Assume you won’t have the time to take off for those types of when you start your new job. The more you can clear up the scattered details of your personal life, the more you can focus on your job search.

Spring Cleaning: Get rid of anything you do not need from 2018 in both your personal and professional life. Doing a little “spring cleaning” at the end of this year will help you will help you get started to find your new job in 2019!