For jobseekers, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of careers. Unemployment rates in the U.S. are falling, and in November 2015, more than half the country experienced an increase in jobs. The growing economy and higher need for workers means now is the time to take charge of your career.

However, jumping to a whole new job, even in today’s economy, is still a risky endeavor. If you want to develop a new profession successfully, you need to increase your chances of being retained. Here are a few tips to consider:

Assess your skills: Sit down and evaluate your soft and hard skills. What makes you marketable – your experience, knowledge and education – are the hard skills that determine which industry you should pursue. Your soft skills, or your ability to communicate, manage and interact, are what’s going to set you apart from your competition.

Set goals: If you want to pursue a new career, think about how you’ll feel about it when you retire. Will you be fulfilled or just relieved? Establish career goals that will benefit you personally and then, in order to make your goals marketable, translate them into how you’ll benefit a company.

Make yourself known: Businesses today are more likely to use online recruiting tactics to research jobseekers, so make sure your presence is professional and powerful. Update your LinkedIn profile as this is one of the most popular networking sites. Then search your name to find out what else comes up.

Get help: You don’t have to make a career jump alone – ask for help from professional staffing firms or business coaches. It’s important to get unbiased feedback on your skills and goals so that when you do make that first step, you’ll do so with confidence and success.

If you want to take advantage of the employment opportunities in 2016, invest in yourself. Get in contact with a professional staffing agency, such as AtWork, to create a solid plan for a whole new career path. Contact us today!

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