In With the New: Setting Resolutions to Advance Your Career
As 2014 dawns, many people are determined to pursue personal goals such as spending more time with family, exercising frequently and eating better. However, this also is a good time to assess where you are in your career and set resolutions that will help you advance professionally.
Whether you’re looking to move up in your current organization or find a new job, determining your objectives for the new year can help you get to where you want to be. Following are 10 career-related resolutions professionals can consider for 2014:
- Play ‘internal’ auditor. Everyone’s heard it’s a good idea to take an objective look at your skills and identify your strengths and weaknesses, but surprisingly few do so. Make a point to sit down and note where and how you can improve in 2014.
- Learn something new. Pursue a certification, become proficient with a new software program or take a course to enhance your skill set. The key is to continually broaden your expertise.
- Grow your network. Join a professional association or online network, or consider working with a specialized staffing firm in your job search. These contacts can provide valuable career guidance as well as keen insights on trends impacting your field and business.
- Pay it forward. Keep in mind that networking is as much about helping others as it is about asking for help. By offering to serve as a reference for a former colleague or providing resume advice for a friend, for example, you can strengthen your relationships and build goodwill.
- Be a better coworker. Volunteer to help colleagues who may be overburdened and look for things you can do to improve office morale, such as praising others’ achievements or organizing informal group outings. In the process, you’ll establish yourself as a trusted resource at your firm.
- Brush off your resume. You never know when a new opportunity might come along, so it’s best to be prepared. Updating your resume also helps you mentally crystallize what you bring to your current job – good information to have at the tip of your tongue at review time or when seeking a new position.
- Build your people skills. An Accountemps survey found interpersonal skills often are the factor that can tip the scale in a job candidate’s favor. Work with a mentor who can help you identify your strengths and those skills needing improvement.
- Don’t be a wallflower. Offer to take on projects beyond your job description and participate in or even lead cross-departmental teams. The exposure you gain to different functions and colleagues within your organization will enhance your expertise, professional marketability and value to your employer.
- Reward yourself. As you reach milestones in your career or job search, take the opportunity to acknowledge your success. Making time to go to a favorite restaurant or read a new book can go a long way toward keeping you motivated and ready to tackle new challenges.
- Stay positive. Employers want to work with people who maintain their poise, no matter how difficult things become. Use levity when appropriate to build rapport with colleagues and ease tensions that arise. You’ll distinguish yourself by persevering and motivating others to perform at higher levels.