Happy new year everyone! Now the Christmas holidays (aka two weeks of mince pie fueled Harry Potter marathons) are over, it’s about time to get serious about getting in shape. And by that, I mean getting your career in shape because it’s absolutely freezing and there’s no way in hell anyone in their right mind would want to go outside and kick/ throw/ hit a ball around for fun. Right? Right.

In 2016, we learnt that when it comes to careers, anything is possible. Andy Murray became world number one, Leo finally won that Oscar and somehow, Donald Trump (a more Orange and American version of Alan Sugar) won the US presidential election.

We have no idea what’s in store for 2017, but whether you’re looking for your first job, trying to escape retail hell to do something you’re truly passionate about, or just figuring it all out, there are definitely some easy ways to take control of your career destiny. Say goodbye to pretending to go to the gym in January, here’s five ways to get your career in shape instead…

1. Look good

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Or more specifically, look good online. It’s 2017! Have we mentioned that yet? And your online presence has never been more important. Have a look at what your social media profiles say about you to people that don’t know you and potential employers. Does moaning about going to college scream ‘employable’? Do the relentless yet hilarious cat GIFs seem super professional? Would your future employer be happy to use that photo of you downing a WKD on top of someone’s mum’s posh new garden furniture as the photo they circulate when you get ‘employee of the month’? Maybe not. Take some time to look at what you’re putting out online and check out our top tips on how to make your LinkedIn less rubbish and build a dazzling online portfolio.

2. Slim down your CV

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Does your future boss need to know about that time your were knitting club coordinator in primary school? Nope. Unless you’re on the job hunt right this second (good luck pals, you’ll get there!) it’s likely you won’t think to look at your CV until you’re desperate for a new job. In the spirit of those annoying New Year’s Eve Facebook statuses it’s time to get sentimental! Look at what you’ve achieved at work in the last year and add everything to your CV so you don’t forget all the impressive stuff you got done. If you need more help,we also rounded up all the CV advice from your teachers that you can ignore, right here 

3. Find a coach

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Not the kind of coach that you see in coming of age sports films who initially hate you, shout in your face because they see themselves and their past mistakes in you, but ultimately come to understand you and champion you. Just a career coach or mentor. We’ve got loads of tips on finding the right person. But overall, we’d suggest thinking of the connections you’ve made and the people you’ve met recently. Is there someone who has a job you’re really jealous of? Or someone who’s a few years ahead of you and doing really well? Make them your mentor!

4. Flex a different muscle

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With new year’s resolutions flying about all over the place, there’s no better time for a little bit of self improvement. If there’s something you’re itching to try out, a skill you’ve always wanted to master, or a talent you’ve not shown the world yet, hurry up and get on with it. There’s a whole load of courses out there that are completely free, and that you can do at home in your pyjamas while your mates are at the pub and you’re stubbornly sticking to your stupid idea to do dry January. Take a look at some of our  faves here.

5. Practice, practice, practice

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You’ve done your research, learned some new skills and refined your online presence. The next step? The working world. Get out there, get some work experience, spend a day shadowing a pro, or land your first job. You can find all of our current opportunities here. What are you waiting for?!

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