As we approach the end of another year and start making our usual list of New Year’s resolutions, let’s not forget to include resolutions to aid our career growth. They don’t need to be overly ambitious resolutions. In fact, they shouldn’t be. It’s when we set overly complex or daunting resolutions that we end up casting them aside far too quickly.
If you’re looking to take the next step in your career in 2017, here are 5 simple but essential resolutions you need to include in your list:
1. Do an annual career review
This is important. We get so caught up in our busy little lives that we seldom get the chance to reflect on where we are and review our career growth. Take the day off. Go somewhere quiet where you can relax, collect your thoughts and honestly evaluate your career.
Are you heading in the right direction, or have you gotten sidetracked along the way? If you have gotten sidetracked, what can you do to correct your course? Put your thoughts down on paper (or on your computer). Make a record of it, along with a plan for the next steps, so you can review it again the following year.
2. Update your resume & portfolio
It’s a time-consuming task, but keeping your resume and portfolio updated is important regardless of your interests in changing jobs. You never know who might be headhunting and when — it’s best to always keep the door open for opportunities. Be sure to have your latest resume and portfolio on relevant career networks. Visibility on the web can take you much further than you would expect.
3. Grow your professional network
Unfortunately, who you know matters much more than what you know. It’s a well-known fact that most companies prefer to hire based on internal recommendations. Having a wide network of professional contacts is always useful. You never know when there might be an opening at Google or Facebook, but if you have contacts there, you will stand a higher chance of securing an interview compared to a complete stranger to the company.
4. Add a new skill or qualification
Make it a point to learn one new skill or complete a course in 2017. Not only does it show recruiters that you’re a self-starter who keeps up to date with current trends and technologies, it also looks good to your current employer. It’s a win-win situation whether you’re angling for a promotion or looking to make a career change.
5. Overcome a fear
Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone in 2017. Whether it’s fear of public speaking, chairing a meeting, giving a presentation or something else — pick one fear that has been holding you back at work and embrace it. It might feel like the scariest thing you’ve ever had to do, but the fear is all in your mind. You only need to do it once to prove to yourself that you CAN do it, and the second time will be easier.
Get a headstart on your career growth in 2017. We reap what we sow. You’ve got to put in the effort to see results. For more useful tips and practical career guides, have a look through our Career Resources section.
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