Quantcast

Jumpstart Your Job Hunt In 2021 By Following These Tips

Get proactive and take charge of landing the gig of your dreams.

Workin' Girl

We can all agree that 2020 was a challenging year, with the pandemic coming at us full force, civil and human rights in danger, a landmark presidential election that had all of our nerves shot, and a job market on the brink of disaster. Despite these challenges, there is a bright side: Companies are indeed still hiring right now.

If you're looking for a fresh start, want to transition into a better position within your industry, or are just getting your foot in the door as a recent graduate, try these job hunting tips to kick-start a great 2021:

1. Create or update your LinkedIn profile.

If you don't already have a LinkedIn page, sis, what are you waiting on? This is the perfect place to showcase your skills and talents, and it's where many recruiters go to look for top new employees. More than 50% of Americans with a college degree use the platform, and 4 out of 5 users "drive business decisions," according to a Hootsuite report. Be sure your photo is professional, your work experience is recent and relevant to your dream job, and you've listed organizations and passions accurately. You also want to be sure you're networking in a way that puts service and ability ahead of a needy vibe, and that you're tapping into connections strategically. Experts recommend offering insights that are relevant to your industry, writing about your own experiences and expertise, and reconnecting with people you may have lost touch with.

2. Be deliberate in creating a schedule for job-seeking.

It's a good idea to etch out specific times of the day or week to send out resumes, emails or other inquiries related to a job search. When you commit to a time of day, you'll be more likely to be consistent and put forth deliberate effort to get the job you want. You can try this 10-hour plan by The Muse or get into these calendar-blocking methods to map out how you'll attack researching companies, professionals you'd like to work with or qualifications that various jobs require.

3. Build and follow systems for keeping up with the process.

With so many job search sites, resources, and opportunities out there, it can seem a bit overwhelming keeping up with it all. A great way to remain organized is to set up a system using technology. It can be as simple as setting calendar reminders for things like following up with someone you interviewed with to send a Thank You note or to inquire about next steps or email templates for submitting your cover letter and resume. Set up shortcuts for replies or special actions to file all your job search-related emails so that you can easily access them. You can also set up spreadsheets in Google or Microsoft Excel to categorize and organize information by job, company, date applied and more. If you want a quick shortcut to do this, try your state's employment commission websites which have resources for tracking your job search. Apps like those offered by CareerBuilder and Monster are also great for keeping track of your search progress.

4. Volunteer with an organization that your dream professional or company supports.

Even in these social-distancing streets, networking is still important, and what better way to connect with someone who works at your dream company or someone you'd like to collaborate with than to volunteer at an org they support? Again, LinkedIn is a great place to find out what causes your mentor or prospective coworker are into. Just be sure it's something you authentically connect with and that you're willing to give of the time and effort. If you can't volunteer in person, offer your talents, services or time doing something virtually, whether it's assisting to coordinate an online event, creating social media graphics or messaging for a campaign, or building creative fundraising initiatives.

5. Map out a 1- 5- or 10-year plan via a vision board.

Manifestation through writing down goals is real, and many successful professionals attest to it. Take the time to write down what your next boss move will be or at least where you'd like to go in the next few years. If thinking that far down is overwhelming, experts recommend thinking about it in monthly goals that will build up to reach the overall yearly goal. Vision boards are a great way to visualize your plan, and you don't have the go the usual posterboard-and-collage route. Use apps like Canva or PicMonkey to make one digitally.

Experts recommend asking yourself questions like, "Where do I want to be next year?" "What tasks bring me the most joy?" "What are the daily duties of my dream job?" "Who am I impacting with the work that I do?" "What salary would I like to be earning?" and "What does my quality of life look like?" Be honest with yourself about your current skills, where you could improve, and what steps it will take to get to the job and lifestyle of your dreams. Bookmark resources, books, articles and other related information that will help you reach your goal (whether it's in the form of clicking via your laptop, organizing via an app, or tearing out pages or pasting covers to a board.)

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.

Keep reading... Show less

Most experts would agree that it's best to maintain a safe distance from an ex following a breakup. But with social media being the clickbait that it is, keeping many of us tethered to our devices at any given minute, it's that much harder to resist the temptation to engage in risky business after a breakup (i.e. lurking onto our ex's social profiles). Aside from the infringement of privacy into our ex's day-to-day activities, staying digitally connected can stunt our own process of healing.

Keep reading... Show less

Meagan Good is no stranger to scrutiny over the span of her career. She's faced very public image criticism for a multitude of reasons, from eyebrows, all the way to "that" skin-lightening incident. And when she married her husband, producer, best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin, many people felt she didn't fit the persona of a woman who is married to a devout Christian, being that her image was based on something like a sex symbol.

Keep reading... Show less

I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts