The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect upon what we’ve accomplished in the past, and envision what we’d like to accomplish in the future. When we think about new year’s resolutions in terms of our careers, it can be tempting to oversimplify by simply stating the end goal. For example, in 2017, I want to increase my salary by 20%, or in the coming year, I want to move into a management position. The problem with setting expectations around final outcomes is that it can feel overwhelming. What you really need to do is to focus on executing the steps that are necessary to get you to your goal. Here are the top 4 career resolutions for the 2017 that apply to any objective you may have:
Conduct an audit of your career. Most of us think about our jobs every day, but how often do we stop to look at our careers critically? Take a personal inventory by asking yourself the following questions:
Am I on track with my macro level plan?
How have my goals and aspirations changed over the past five years?
What do I like best about my current role? What do I like least?
What is it that I want to do in my next role?
Identify new skills you can acquire in the coming year. Perhaps that entails a certification in a particular skill area. Think about what you want to be doing next, and work backwards from there. Are there technical skills that would make you more marketable in your field? Are there managerial skills you need to get that promotion?
Update your resume. Even if you’re not actively seeking new employment, it is always good to have an updated resume at the ready. The exercise of updating your resume to highlight your recent accomplishments will force you to think about what you’ve achieved in your current role. In turn, this will help you determine what you would like to do next. Another benefit of keeping an updated resume is that it is always ready to go should you uncover an interesting opportunity.
Expand your network. Too many people only think about networking within the context of job seeking. This is a mistake. Networking should be an ongoing activity that you engage in regularly. It doesn’t have to be attending conferences or lunches. You can network with people via LinkedIn, by catching up with former coworkers, or by learning more about the people you work with regularly. Having a well-developed network helps not just in the present. It is something that has a more valuable, longer term payoff.
So, best wishes for a successful 2017! What do you resolve to achieve this year?