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10 Gifts to Give Your Career

giftboxHappy Holidays!

Whether you celebrate one holiday, all holidays, or no holidays, this is the time of year when we gather together and think of others. We think of those less fortunate, we think of the teachers who teach our children, we think of our co-workers and employees, and we think of our friends and families.

And, with all this “thinking” usually comes some kind of gift-giving. Big or small, a lot of thought and consideration goes into selecting the perfect gift for the perfect person. Some people make gift-giving seem effortless, while others break out into a cold sweat and feel a spike in their blood pressure.

The reality is that we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves at this time of year. We make our lists and check them twice (or three times), and we don’t want to forget anything. But what about your career? Is that on your list?

We give gifts to all the special people in our lives, but what do you plan on giving YOUR career? (Are you breaking out in a cold sweat? Not to worry!) Here are the top 10 gifts you can give your career to show your appreciation and to set your career up for even greater success in 2015.

1. Update Your Résumé – reflect on the year, acknowledge all the accomplishments and achievements, and make sure your updated résumé represents your true success story.

2. Give LinkedIn a Face Lift – if you have neglected your LinkedIn profile, now’s the time to get re-acquainted and re-engaged, upload a new (professional) headshot, update your information, and say hello to your online network.

3. Rethink Your Holiday Card List – it’s true that your “network is your net-worth”, and your network could grow by leaps and bounds if you put that holiday card list online and connect with your friends and family on LinkedIn.

4. Clean House – not all relationships serve you well, and this is the time of year to review, re-evaluate, and sometimes make some tough decisions about the people in your life so you can move forward with all the positive energy you need to be successful.

5. Show Appreciation – success doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen alone…send a thank you note and show your appreciation to those who have helped you along, boosted you up, made you look good, and set you up for success.

6. Trash Your Inbox – go through all the solicited and unsolicited emails, newsletters, and mailing lists and decide if it’s adding value to your life or just taking up valuable time and space.

7. Plan Your Professional Development – think about what skills you want to improve next year, do some research about the best training programs, workshops, or webinars, invest in yourself, and sign up!

8. Boost Your Visibility – knowing that “invisible equals dispensable” when it comes to your career, get out and join a committee within your organization, a local chamber of commerce, a professional association, or any other community activity.

9. Straighten Up – whether you are a neatnik or a slob, give yourself the benefit of a newly cleaned up and well-organized desk and office space to kick off a productive New Year.

10. Set a BHAG or Two – up the ante and challenge yourself by setting some really tough (Big “Hunky” Audacious Goal) goals for 2015, because if your goals don’t make you at least a little nervous, if they don’t produce a few butterflies in your stomach, if they don’t cause a handful of sleepless nights, and if they don’t scare you to your core, then they’re not big enough.

I know your list for the holidays is a mile long already, but I just want to make sure YOU and your career well-being are also on the list. If you take care of your career, your career will take care of you. No one else will take care of your career like you will, which is why giving your career a thoughtful gift during the holidays will reap huge rewards in the New Year!

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