Career Resolutions to Last the Whole Year

2017 is here, and so is the renewed energy to make big, productive changes both professionally and personally. With lengthy lists and less lengthy expectations, the average individual includes bullet points such as “lose weight” or “work harder,” failing to indicate exactly how these goals can be met.

In order to craft realistic resolutions, consider accomplishing smaller milestones, or subgoals. Subgoals are temporary goals that pave the way for the final accomplishment, defining a reasonable and measurable expectation. This same concept applies to career goals. In order to reach the overall goal of “advancing one’s career,” we can pursue subgoals that will lead to real advancement.

If you’re looking to build on your professional goals, whatever they may be, consider the following as first steps:

BUILD YOUR NETWORK
Building a professional network requires more effort and strategy than one might think. Maintaining both personal contacts and social media contacts requires time and patience. Users should purposely go out of his or her way to communicate with people that might not be of immediate, obvious value — like a high profile connection or invite to exclusive networking event. Anecdotes of new perspectives, opinions, and experiences are easy to come by in a professional social network, and make your own perspective richer. As Pamela S. Stevens of Business News Daily points out, “When you reach out and make connections with people in your field, you can find mentorship, career advice and even introductions for new job opportunities.”

 

HIT SOCIAL REFRESH
As the king of professional social media, LinkedIn acts as the medium for most social networking. Give your profile a deep cleanse – checking for accuracy, context, and new accomplishments. Forbes notes that passive candidates are in higher demand than ever before, with the fact that “you never know who will be checking you out online,” being a daily reality. Letting your profile sit dormant could opt you out of any and all opportunities that might come your way via Linkedin.

KEEP SHARP
You don’t have to commit to another degree, masters of otherwise, to make an impact on your education and skill base. Making an effort to attend a class, online or in person, that directly adds to the breadth of your experience speaks volumes to your employer. Whether through self-teaching, or certification programs and industry conferences, it is not too late for adults to become proficient in new skills that make you feel fulfilled professionally. Such learning will also “boost your value to your company – and therefore, put you in line for raises and promotions”  Think of micro-learning as an opportunity for employers to find confidence in their employees while professionals, in turn, find confidence in themselves.

What will you do to invest in yourself and your career this year?