Tis the season for resolutions.
While you have likely made your personal resolutions by now, the New Year is also the perfect time to make your career resolutions. Most resolutions fall by the wayside before the end of January—primarily because our resolutions were unrealistic, ill-defined, or taken over by “life.”
One way to make your resolutions stick is to write them down, break them into achievable steps, and track you progress.
Here are easy resolutions to make 2017 your best career year ever!
1. Track your achievements. Get into the habit of writing down your achievements monthly. Not only can these achievements be used for your resume, they can also be used to provide input to your annual performance evaluation. All of your achievements should answer the question “so what” and demonstrate how you added value to your organization.
2. Identify your career goal, and create a personal plan for getting there. Do you have a specific job you want to move to? Or, are you simply interested in moving from the job you now have? The more focused you are on where you want to go; the easier it will be for you to get there. Investigate opportunities within your organization, focusing on the skills required, the working conditions and the satisfaction you will receive. Sometimes the best move is a lateral one; not all development comes from moving upward.
3. Improve your qualifications. Assess the qualifications needed to meet your short- and long-term career goals. Do you need to refresh your skills? Upgrade your knowledge? Obtain a certification or degree? Improve your currency by reading articles and books in your field? Not only do you need to identify what you need, you need to be willing to commit the personal resources (both time and financial) to achieve the qualifications you desire.
4. Update your resume. You should always keep your resume updated—you never know when opportunity might come knocking. Your resume should be focused on the past 10 years or so, include metrics to give your work context and accomplishments to demonstrate you can achieve results. Remove outdated information and information that does not support your career goals.
5. Broaden your brand. All of us have a brand, whether we think so or not. You can broaden your brand by establishing a more active presence on LinkedIn, publishing a professional article or two, or speaking at a professional conference. All of these things provide wider exposure for you and your expertise.
6. Maintain a positive attitude. Change is ongoing and ever-present. Greet change with a positive attitude. If you visualize your success, you will be more likely to achieve it than if you don’t.
Make the above your career resolutions and follow through. If you do so, you’ll be setting yourself up for a great 2017!