It's that time of the year again when everyone's taking stock of their past achievements and making resolutions to better themselves. How about you? How happy are you at your current job? Does it still give you a sense of satisfaction, or do you feel that your career has hit a plateau? How would you like to see your job situation improve over the next 12 months?
Now that we've got you thinking, here are five things you need to do to set yourself up for success:
- Know what you want out of your career
Before you make any resolutions, think about what career success means to you. This is probably a good time to perform a job appraisal and evaluate how your role and responsibilities have changed. Ask yourself the following questions: What do you enjoy most (and least) about your current job? How has your job scope evolved and is your salary in line with the market? What three things would you change to improve your career?
- Set yourself manageable goals
Instead of coming up with a vague resolution such as "getting better recognition" or a long list of goals (remember, this isn't a contest), focus on a few key changes that would do your career the greatest amount of good.
- Develop your personal brand
The goal of personal branding, as career coach and founder of Total Leadership Ventures, Elizabeth Bert points out, is "Being known for who you are, what you stand for and what value you bring." To develop your brand, you need to identify the key strengths that make you stand out from others in the same field. (To best understand how you're perceived, ask your manager, current and former colleagues, family and friends). Once you've figured that out, you can start thinking of ways to leverage these strengths and bring value to your existing or potential employers.
- Meet new people
Many make the mistake of thinking that networking is something you do only when you need information or a new job. Not true. Networking is a great way of building trust and getting things done, so challenge yourself to meet at least one new person each month (and make sure you remember to grow the relationship!). Given that around 80% of jobs are not advertised, who knows? The acquaintance you meet might just open doors to opportunities that you never even considered in the first place.
- Invest in your personal development
Don't wait for your boss to send you for training courses. Be proactive about learning new skills. If getting a promotion is your goal, find out what skills and qualifications you need for your next move up the ladder. Personal development isn't limited to training though. There's a great deal you can learn from another person's perspectives and experiences, so if you don't already have one, find yourself a mentor either from your workplace or network.
The New Year is a great time to build your career. Take a look at three amazing ways careers can be advanced, here.