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New Year, New Career: How Self-Help Activities Can Help You Stand Out in Today’s Competitive Job Market

As we start the new year, it’s a great time to focus on professional development, personal development, and self-improvement. In today’s competitive job market, employers are looking for candidates with the right skills, experience, and certain unique qualities (especially soft skills) that make them stand out from the crowd. I can’t stress how essential soft skills are within the interview process. No one wants to work with someone with a short fuse or terrible communication skills. My recommendation: self-help activities. Self-help activities are any activities individuals undertake to improve themselves, their lives, and their well-being. These activities can include a wide range of practices and techniques, such as setting goals, mindfulness practices, and working out, to name a few. By engaging in self-help activities, you can develop and refine many soft skills and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

So, let’s dive a little deeper, and I’ll share a few examples of a few self-help activities and how you can apply these techniques in your life:

  1. Setting and achieving goals: By setting specific, measurable, and attainable goals, individuals can focus their efforts and work towards achieving something specific (learn about SMART goals). Setting goals can help individuals to stay motivated and on track. In the context of becoming a better job candidate, setting goals can help individuals identify the skills and experience they need to acquire to be a more competitive candidate. For example, setting a goal to obtain a specific certification or gaining co-op/internship experience in a particular field can help individuals focus their efforts and progress toward becoming more qualified candidates.
  2. Reading self-help books or articles: Reading self-help literature can provide individuals with valuable insights and personal and professional development strategies. By reading books or articles on topics such as communication, time management, and problem-solving, individuals can acquire new skills and knowledge that can help them to become more effective and efficient in their work and achieve those goals. My favorites include Atomic Habits, Start with Why, and Think and Grow Rich. Reading books or articles on topics related to your field of interest can help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments, making you a more knowledgeable and well-rounded candidate. 
  3. Journaling: Keeping a journal can be a valuable tool for personal reflection and growth. By regularly writing down your thoughts, experiences, and goals, you can better understand yourself and your motivations. In the context of becoming a better job candidate, journaling can help individuals reflect on their emotions and progress as they work towards becoming a more competitive candidate.
  4. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga, can help individuals to reduce stress, improve focus, and gain a better understanding of themselves and their emotions. These practices can be especially beneficial for individuals seeking to improve their communication and problem-solving skills, as they can help individuals stay calm and focused during stressful situations.
  5. Prioritizing physical health: Taking care of your physical health can positively impact your overall well-being, including your mental and emotional well-being. There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish at work because you had a bad meal the night before. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can help you feel more energized and focused, allowing you to be more productive and effective in your work.
  6. Personal development programs, training, or workshops: Participating in personal development programs or workshops can provide individuals with valuable opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge, network with other professionals, and gain valuable insights from experts in your field. These programs and workshops can help individuals to understand unique perspectives and alternative techniques, helping you to stay competitive and offer your company new insight into new industry trends.


These self-help activities aim to help improve your personal and professional lives, increase your self-awareness and well-being, and help you achieve your goals. Different self-help activities will be more appropriate or effective depending on your personal circumstances, preferences, and goals. 

Pro tip: Focusing on one or two of these activities during the new year is much easier to keep consistent. If you suddenly introduce all six techniques, I can guarantee you will burn yourself out quickly. Start small, and build from there.

Why not start your self-help journey today and take the first steps to help you toward a more fulfilling and successful career? If one of your goals is to land a new role, send your resume to, and we will assist you in achieving that goal! We hope you have a happy and productive new year!

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