10 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right at Work
1. Set goals. Even if you're not in the habit of setting career goals, make a point to identify where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Keep in mind: if you don't know where you're going, it will be tough to get there. If you want to be in a different position next year, plan how you're going to make a change.
2. Document your successes. Take stock of your accomplishments. Make a list of what you've done and create a forward-focused resume and online profile to highlight them.
3. List new skills you'll need. You'll likely need new skills to move ahead with your career plans, so strategize about how you can get them. Talk to your supervisor to determine if there are ways you can augment your current skills by participating in new projects.
4. Manage your reputation. You're nothing without your reputation; make sure that your reputation speaks for itself. How can you influence what other people know about you? Create online profiles in all of the networks you intend to use. LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are all useful and allow you to post steams of information to highlight your expertise. Make sure your online profiles feature the information you want people to know about you when they Google your name.
5. Keep an eye on the future. Have you thought about the outlook for your company and industry? Are jobs moving overseas? Are opportunities going to freelancers instead of full-time employees? Is your job easily automated? Now is a good time to start thinking about the outlook for next year and beyond. Be realistic and brutally honest and consider what action you should take if prospects aren't promising.
6. Break out of your rut. Be honest: is it time to take on something new? If you've been doing the "same old" for years, now may be the perfect time to plan for a change. Have you been thinking of taking classes or volunteering for a project that could position you for a bigger job? There's no time like the present.
7. Join a professional association or take a more active role in one where you are a member. Professional organizations provide many opportunities to volunteer. Look for a small job to start, and plan to ramp up your involvement, especially if you have career aspirations that involve using leadership skills.
8. Be flexible. It's difficult to go very far at work if you aren't flexible. Try your best to be open to new ideas and new ways to do things and make a goal to try to say "yes" more than "no" at work when it comes to suggestions from your colleagues and supervisors.
9. Make new friends. You've heard that networking is the best way to get a job; take that advice to heart and make a point to expand your circle of contacts. The more people who know, like and trust you and think you are good at what you do, the better the chance of you finding and landing new opportunities in the new year.
10. Keep an eye on the important things. Don't forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. If you've been neglecting your health, your family or friends, make a point to address those concerns in the new year and you'll be more likely to be successful in your work life as well.
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