Happy New Year! Everyone is making resolutions, and one of the most common resolutions is to get in shape. But what about getting your career in tip-top shape?
It’s easy for your body to get out of shape…just stop exercising and start excessively eating and drinking. The same is true about your career. It’s easy to get comfortable and complacent in your current position and stop dedicating the effort needed to take your career to the next level.
Optimal health and wellness doesn’t happen by accident. It takes careful planning, consideration, and commitment – and so does your career. Promotions, raises, and key projects will not appear magically. It’s critical to take the necessary steps so you and your career are in the best possible shape and position to optimize those opportunities.
The more prepared and proactive you are, the healthier and more successful your career will be. Here are 10 Tips to Get Your Career in Shape for the New Year:
- Update Your Resume
While you’re reflecting on the previous year, make sure to update your resume with all your accomplishments and achievements. Before amnesia sets in and the New Year is in full swing, take the time to transform your resume into a true success story. It’s always better to build it before you need it.
- Increase Your Skill Set
Don’t let your skills get rusty and outdated. The New Year is the time to learn a new skill. Master a new computer program, take on a new project, or learn how to manage the annual budget. Not only will new skills keep your mind sharp, but it will keep you current, relevant, and marketable.
- Expand Your Network
Networking has always been, and will always be, the number one way to not only find a new job, but to take your career to the next level. Both internally and externally, you should be meeting new people, making new friends, and securing new strategic partnerships. It’s time to look up from your desk, look around, and figure out who you need to meet and which relationships you need to cultivate.
- Join Professional Associations
It’s not enough to just know the people in your office, get involved and engaged with your local professional associations. It’s a great way to increase your professional visibility, become more aware of what’s going on in your industry, and get acquainted with the key players within your field.
- Become a Leader
Whether it’s initiating a new women’s group within your organization, sitting on a board, or running for president of a professional committee, becoming a leader and developing effective leadership skills is a terrific way to take your career to the next level.
Not only is volunteering in your community a positive way to spend your time, it’s also an effective way to expand your network and increase your visibility. You’ll rub elbows with other business and community leaders. It’s also a marketable quality when searching for a job and a way to differentiate you from other candidates.
- Build a Brand
Perception is reality, and how you’re perceived makes an enormous impact on your career…positively and negatively. Think carefully about how you want others to think of you and experience you. Proactively building a professional brand and reputation that accurately reflects who you are and what you do is critical for career success.
- Do Your Homework
Professions, industries, and organizations are changing at a rapid rate. It’s important to stay up-to-the-minute on the latest trends, opinions, and movements in the marketplace. Make sure you’re educated and informed about what’s coming down the pipeline. You never want to be the last to know. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your career.
- Monitor Your Online Presence
Social media has become part of our social lexicon and it is here to stay. The big question: is your online presence helping you or hurting you? Not only are your friends and family following your online activity on Facebook and LinkedIn, but so are prospective hiring managers and current supervisors. If you want your career to be healthy and to stay on track, build time into your daily routine to manage and sanitize your online presence.
- Recognize the Power of a Positive Attitude
One of the best ways to get your career in shape is by recognizing the power of a positive attitude. Instead of being “Debbie-downer”, give yourself a boost of energy with positive thinking and a jolt of joy by expressing gratitude and appreciation. People are attracted to and want to be around positive people. If you want to get noticed, recognized, and promoted, then it could be time to get your attitude in shape.
Professional health and fitness is just as important as personal health and fitness, and requires the same focus, drive and determination. Start the New Year off on the right foot, get your career in shape with the right routine and regiment, and you’ll be amazed with the results.