Career To Do's for the New Year The start of a new year is a common time when people talk about making changes, ... when it comes to their jobs. Whether you are ... ready to make a mov
Career To Do's for the New Year
The start of a new year is a common time when people talk about making changes, particularly when it comes to their jobs. Whether you are seriously ready to make a move or you are still thinking about it, these 5 "Career To Do's" will help get your year started off right.
1. Update your resume. In today's uncertain economy, you need to be ready to move at a moment's notice. If your company were to close today, how long would it take you to prepare for a job search? When was the last time you updated your resume? Do you remember every assignment or special project you've worked on over the past year? Can you recall all of the classes or special training you've received? Every year, at least twice a year, invest some time in updating your resume. Use performance evaluations and job descriptions to ensure you are accurately demonstrating your skills and accomplishments in the most clear, concise, and flattering manner.
2. Network, network and network. Nobody likes a person who only calls when they want something. Don't put yourself in a position of not having a job and needing to reach out to old colleagues and acquaintances that you haven't talked to in 5 years. Now is the time to nurture those relationships. Join or renew your membership to a professional organization, subscribe (and contribute) to an industry journal or newsletter, send former co-workers a "hello" note. Should you ever find yourself looking for a new job, your network is already in place and ready to work for you.
3. Review old goals and set new ones. Ships don't set a course at the beginning of a journey then sit back and hope they reach their destination. Instead they periodically check their position and make adjustments as needed. Planning your career success is no different. Last year, what were your goals? What position were you hoping to be in? How much money were you expecting to make? Take some time to compare your current situation with what you were hoping for last year. What adjustments do you need to make?
4. Get a real performance evaluation. No matter how high your self-esteem is or how great you think you are, the reality is that your success is highly dependant upon how other people perceive you. If your company does not do periodic performance reviews ask for one. And don't just seek praise (although that may be useful information when it comes time for a salary adjustment), but also get 2 or 3 areas for improvement. Ask for specific suggestions and follow up in a few months to check your progress. Performance evaluations are not only useful for finding your weaknesses, but should you find yourself in a job interview, you can use specific examples from your review to highlight your strengths.
5. Invest in your personal development. Take a class. Attend a conference. Learn a new computer program. The minute you stop trying to improve yourself is the minute you stop growing. Your personal success will depend upon you making an investment of time and sometimes money. Even if your company does not offer any training, its worthwhile to make the investment in yourself. And if your company does offer any kind of training, then (and I apologize for the insult) you'd be a fool not to take advantage of it.