It’s not too late to start the coming year with new career prospects. Whether you hope to expand your skills or start a new career, now is the time to prepare. With summer behind us and fall and winter here, it’s time to dive deep into the classes or certifications that will bring you closer to your dream career in the new year.

We have compiled a list of study habits to help you finally achieve your career goals in the new year.

Carefully Choose a Quiet Study Spot

A quiet study spot is crucial for retaining the information you’ll need for your new career. Avoid studying in frequently trafficked areas that are sure to easily distract you. If you find it difficult to focus or there aren’t any suitable study spots in your home, consider investing in a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones. If none of these options work, you might find success with a visit to your local community library or university study room.

Make sure your study spot is also tidy. Newer research claims that clutter affects our productivity. Focusing on a tidy home before jumping into your new career studies is helpful. Clear out your study room, put away all loose items, put a few organization rules in place, and dedicate time each day to cleaning up the room.

Make Researching Careers a Part of Your Study Time

Research should be an essential part of your study time, at least until you have your career goals all figured out. Before jumping into classes:

Give yourself a few hours for a few weeks to research your career options.
Find out what a typical workday looks like in certain careers you’re considering.
Watch interviews of working professionals who have completed your same goals.
Make a list of your short and long-term goals.
Find out what your state requires for certification or licensure of any careers you hope to obtain.

Choose the Right Study Prep Class

Study prep classes not only help you develop good study skills but can also provide you with the exact information you need for your exam. Choose a study prep class specifically catering to the license or certification you’re seeking. For example, if you want to become a general contractor in the new year, a Tennessee contractors license exam prep course is a good choice. These courses provide you with everything you need to succeed in obtaining your license, including books and instructors. Of course, you’ll still need to take the test to receive your license.

Get in the Habit of Taking Tests

The most successful test takers have experience with taking tests. Some people may find it overwhelming to take exams, especially when they’re timed. You could have all the knowledge you need to be a successful contractor in Tennessee only to find that poor test-taking skills prevent you from reaching your goal.

One of the greatest advantages of taking an exam prep class is that it often allows you to practice this exact skill. You can take practice mock exams that help you better understand any areas of improvement. These practice exams will help you feel more comfortable when taking your contracting licensing exam.

Avoid Distractions

Avoiding distractions is a must when studying for anything. Distractions prevent us from retaining information, which can be detrimental to studying. One of the biggest threats when it comes to distractions is social media. If possible, put your phone in a location away from your study room. Turn your phone on silent so you’re not tempted to answer a phone call or text. Turn off social media notifications so you don’t get in the habit of checking them frequently.

Know When To Take a Break

It’s important to dedicate set time each day to studying, but knowing when to take a break is also crucial. Studying for too long, or during a time when it’s not effective, can be a huge waste of time. Avoid staying up too late or letting your study time creep into your sleep time. A good night of sleep is just as important to retaining information as is your study time.

Some people find success in scheduling blocks of study time. For example, you might designate 45 minutes of an hour to deep studying. The other 15 minutes is your free time to do as you wish. This might include a quick nap, a stretch, or a couple of minutes to catch up with friends on social media.

Transitioning to a period of focus and dedication now can lead to exciting career opportunities in the new year. Whether you have always dreamed of working as a licensed contractor or it’s time to renew your license, now is the time to put in the work. With a few study sessions and practice exams, you’ll be well on your way to a new career.

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