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7 Top tips to no-nonsense New Year job searching

1. Understand what your values are

A former British diplomat to Iraq for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office once said that in any career, there are three things we can dream of having:

  • A high salary
  • Flexible working
  • A job that is meaningful and/or interesting to you

There’s a catch though. He claimed that in most jobs, we can only prioritise two of the above goals at any one time. That doesn’t mean for certain you can’t have all three. But his advice poses a valuable starting point in the hunt for a job. Rank the above list of three things by importance. What is non-negotiable to you and what can you afford to compromise on? Build on these three key things by asking the following questions like:

  • What is my ideal salary in my next role?
  • Are there particular fields I want to pursue?
  • How many hours/days am I willing to work on my job in the week?
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Knowing your values helps you to know your worth, so you can pursue careers that will work for you. And with time, it’s also perfectly ok to re-evaluate your priorities. If your next job falls short of your expectations, it’s still a great chance for you to learn about your likes and dislikes.

2. Slide into those DMs

Not sure what a certain job or career might be like? Look out for people who in that industry and drop a personalised cold email, LinkedIn connect request or a Twitter DM to ask for advice.

Some jobs are not as glamourous as they’re made out to be and getting a real insight from the inside might be what you need. You’d be surprised at how helpful people can be and if you don’t hear back from them, don’t take it personally. There’s plenty of contacts out there to network with!

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3. Keep an excel sheet of deadlines

Once you have an idea of the types of jobs you want to apply for, organise your time. Create a table and include columns for the following:

  • Name of company
  • Materials required e.g. cover letter? CV?
  • Deadlines for application and interview stages
  • Any contacts?
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4. Don’t lose heart

The first application is the hardest but it’s a starting point to your future successes! Make sure you keep a copy of this and build upon it later for future applications.

5. Take care of your mental wellbeing

There will be rejections and your schedule can feel a little all over the place when you’re applying for jobs but make sure you take time out for yourself too, to stay productive.

6. Listen to feedback

Whether you do well or you don’t receive the outcome you hoped for, there’s always room to learn more about your strengths and the areas you can improve on. If there’s an opportunity to receive feedback, always request them to write it for you in an email. If the company tries to give you feedback over the phone, ask them to relay this in an email.

7. Enjoy the process!

The application process is as much of an opportunity for you to see if an organisation is a good fit for you as it is for them to see if you’re a good fit for them. If you’re reading this now, it’s because you have talent and skills to share – realise this is as much about you deciding where you want to share your value!

By Nimra Shahid

Nimra is an MA Interactive Journalism trainee, interested in data and social media habits (in the least creepiest way). She love’s listening to a good podcast and drinking a good cup of chai. You can find on her on Twitter @nimrashahid_

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

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A New Year a New You

7 top tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions!

What would it be like to be able to create a new you? On any day of your choosing, at any point in time you can choose again who you want to be. You can make resolutions, change your habits or simply rewrite the script to old relationships. You can surprise yourself and others with a brand new you! That’s what New Year’s resolutions are all about!

The creation of a new and reenergised life lies in understanding the inter-relationship between our unexamined thoughts, words and actions, and how through a structured and consistent critical evaluation of these three key areas – we can come to create ourselves anew. We create our context through our words and action, and these in turn come from the beliefs we have. The beliefs we have come from many places, but how often do we take stock and think about whether these beliefs are really from our own making, or have they been handed down to us – or even worse – have we just been conditioned into them. 

“Focused on the intention it’s easier to create a desired outcome”

One way of reflecting and evaluating is to go deep into your thoughts and think about who you want to be and what you would like to create in your life. Be free in your consideration of the different areas in your life and when choosing, pick something you really want to be working on, don’t be afraid of being confronted by it. It helps to be totally honest with yourself and remember that you are doing this just for yourself and no one else. 

There are many reasons why people don’t stick to New Year’s resolutions or attempts to change different habits but let’s focus on making them work. To stick to the changes you want to make you must consider your intention to create and not the result you are trying to achieve. Let’s take weight loss as an example; instead of saying ‘I want to lose 5kg’ which will have you focusing on the result you can focus instead on why you want to do that. The reason might be that you want to be healthier and revitalised. So a more effective intention is ‘To be healthy and full of vitality’. With the former scenario you are actually focused on the very thing you don’t want which by law of attraction will bring you more of what you don’t want, alternatively the latter has you attracting the very thing you do want. 

Focused on the intention it’s easier to create a desired outcome ‘I want to weigh 11 stones and be able to run a mile with ease’. From such an outcome you will create better actions, you are more likely to find out what it takes to live a healthier lifestyle, eating the right kinds of foods and engaging in the right kinds of exercises and that in turn will cause the weight to drop off and stay off. 

To achieve what we want we must clearly define it.

  1. Create an intention that is in alignment with your values and the kind of life you would like to live. Be inspired by it. 
  2. Define what you want as an outcome, remember this is not about stating what you don’t want but rather shaping what it is that you do want. This should be what you would get if you fulfilled your intention. 
  3. Create an action plan with actions that will bring you to your desired outcomes. 
  4. Create a timetable where you map the things that you are doing on a day-to-day basis, look at those activities and decide which of those are serving you and which do not. Those that are superfluous, ineffective or not part of a greater purpose can be removed. 
  5. In the same timetable add your new activities that serve the greater purpose which is a new. 
  6. Create rewards for yourself when you fulfil your intentions through your chosen activities and enjoy your transformation. 
  7. If things don’t go per plan don’t give up on all your efforts. Just take stock to work out why it didn’t work and then start again. 

At any point in your life you can make new decisions about who you are and who you want to be, it doesn’t matter who you have been, it’s never too late. Be true to yourself and create a you that lives a life out of the ordinary. You deserve it. 

By Aamna Khokhar

Aamna Khokhar is determined to equip people with the tools to strengthen communication, regard and love within their relationships. She helps people overcome destructive thought patterns, obstructive emotional responses and manage stress and anxiety. She believes that the management of these can help people heal their relationships and reclaim their self-worth and improve their lives. With a background in Psychology spanning 20 years and a qualification in life coaching Aamna has chosen to specialise in Relationship Coaching. She works with individuals as well as in groups and runs workshops on self-development and the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships, including finding love. She has recently begun creating e-learning modules allowing individuals to work at their own pace and leisure to ensure that self-development is a pleasurable part of their everyday lives. 

To contact Aamna please email on

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Image taken by Akeela Ahmed