Di Resta's name was mentioned in conjunction with seats at McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari in recent months before the end of the season, but to no avail.
Instead, the Scot will continue with Force India for 2013, although his team-mate has yet to be announced as the team run the rule over a number of prospective candidates to replace Nico Hulkenberg, who joins Sauber.
But after a wretched end to his season, scoring just two points from his final six races to finish 17 points adrift of Hulkenberg, the 26-year-old knows he has to hit the ground running next year if he wants the move he craves.
"The end of my season wasn't great," Di Resta, whose final race saw him involved in a rare crash in Brazil in wet conditions, told Press Association Sport.
"We had mechanical issues, a chassis change, and ultimately the style of my driving did not suit for the last few races.
"Overall, I had ups and downs, although there were still some very big positives.
"We got very close to being on the podium in Singapore, where we felt we were slightly robbed when a safety car came out because it was in touching distance there.
"Our performance slipped after that as we didn't develop at the rate of other people.
"All I can hope is when we switched off on this year's car, it will pay dividends for next year in terms of our performance in Australia (the season-opening race on March 17).
"Next year is a big one for me. I need to do my stuff because it will be performance based.
"I think there'll be a few movements at the top, and hopefully I'll be a part of that.
"I felt ready for it this year, but for whatever reason it didn't happen, which was not my decision.
"I'll just keep doing my job on track to hopefully keep my name in the frame.
"I've good relationships with all the teams, and with senior people, which I think you need to have."
Di Resta joined forces with The Sports Partnership, run by Richard Goddard who manages Jenson Button, after ditching Anthony Hamilton last year.
Di Resta is naturally hoping such a move will pay dividends in 2013, adding: "There was a change during the year, which was not ideal.
"But it was the right thing to do to get the word out as to where I was, and to see if there were any opportunities coming up.
"Now we can lay down a constructive plan, targets, and everybody will hopefully come to the shop and meet them.
"I've a lot of confidence in Richard, who has a very good reputation in the paddock with what he does, and with the support he has, which has given me every confidence."
For now, Di Resta will enjoy a few weeks off with family, spending the majority of his time at his Monaco apartment rather than lying on a beach somewhere, albeit with Christmas at home in Scotland.
"It's also about spending quality time with the people around you, catching up with the family, having more of a personal life for a month," said Di Resta.
"The off-season isn't long because in eight weeks' time we're going to be going to Jerez for the first test.
"So it's about quality. I'm definitely not going on holiday. I'll take the time at home in Monaco, spending time where I want to be.
"I definitely don't want to sit in another airport lounge."