Let’s leave 2020 behind and build a new future for 2021. The start of a New Year is an exciting time to set new goals and plan for your year ahead in the public sector. The challenge lies in how you navigate the current competitive environment to land a great job or advance your career in your current role. Together with our public sector recruitment experts, we’ve put together some tips that will help refresh your career and lead to a successful New Year.  

reflect on the past year

It’s important to reflect on the year that has been. Celebrate the accomplishments of your past year and everything you achieved, especially during turbulent times of the pandemic. Identify what are some of the lessons you’ve learned from mistakes. Whilst this might be painful, it is useful to reflect on both the good and the bad to give a full 360 picture of your career before you take steps to improve yourself.

All this self-reflection can be put into practice when setting goals that will deliver the life you want to live next year. 

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goal setting

When designing these goals, it’s important that they’re realistic. It’s important to know you can succeed in achieving them. Make sure your goals are specific. You’ll need to be able to measure if you’ve succeeded and celebrate that success when it happens . Setting yourself clearly defined objectives will give you clarity and vision of what success will look like once you’ve achieved that goal. Next, give your goals a timeframe. This will ensure you’re able to measure the effectiveness of your progress and work towards your goal more efficiently. Lastly, it would help to tell people close to you what you’re envisioning to achieve in the new year. They can be a very effective support system and ask how your journey is going, keeping you accountable. 

update your digital profile for the public sector

Many in the public sector shy away from creating a digital presence, like a LinkedIn profile. However, creating a positive digital brand that represents you can make a big difference during the job screening process. Making sure that your LinkedIn profile looks professional and focuses on your best assets and career highlights. Having a credible digital footprint that distinctively showcases your skills, experiences and interests will also enable you to connect and network with other like minded contractors, and permanent professionals in the public sector, augmenting your chances of landing a role and expanding your range of contacts. 

It’s not just LinkedIn that you need to focus on. Employers tend to check candidates’ social media profiles to assess their professionalism, qualifications, trustworthiness and to avoid any negative attributes. This being said, be sure to separate your personal and professional online profiles. This can be achieved by removing anything personal or private in your public profile that may cause problems with your professional network.

Even the email address you use as a contractor matters. Perhaps the old email address you had as a teenager is no longer appropriate. If that’s the case, we recommend creating a professional email address with your full name and a reputable email provider. This will be used to present yourself professionally to any future prospective employers and ready to take on career opportunities in the new year. 

lifelong learning

Public sector contractors need to be adept at keeping at the cutting edge of their profession. Whilst permanent public sector staff may have the support of internal career development, contractors in the public sector should look at online courses, conferences and other learning opportunities to develop their skill sets. Search online as to what resources are available to you and plan time in your year to work on yourself. That way you can avoid being left behind in your career by learning to be curious and continue to be a life-long learner. 


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