Whether you were glad to wave goodbye to 2016 or not, the new year lets you make a fresh start, bringing with it different challenges and opportunities. If you’re tired of the same old new year’s resolutions, why not throw the spotlight on your career in 2017 and make this a year all about furthering your potential.
From mastering new skills to expanding your network, here are five things to add to your list of New Years resolutions to help you succeed.
Learn a New Skill or Qualification
Like the saying goes, ‘you’re never too old to learn’. Start the year off well by creating a list of relevant qualifications that could be beneficial to your industry or career in general. If you’ve got a long list, you don’t necessarily have to tackle them all over twelve months. Prioritise the qualifications that would be most beneficial, as well as enjoyable.
Your employers may even offer to pay if there’s a fee; qualifications will enhance your skillset, which in turn can make you even more of an asset to your company (not to mention more desirable to other companies if you plan to look for a new job later in the year).
When it comes to learning new skills, this could be anything from learning a new language to picking up the basics of coding. These skills might not directly impact your career straight away, but they could open doors in the future.
Get Your CV in Check
It’s one of those things we’re all guilty of putting on the back-burner, especially when we’re not planning on job searching, but it’s really good practice to regularly update your CV.
If you haven’t even looked at your CV in a while, there’s no better time to give it a bit of a spring clean. You might find that you’re missing large gaps. Ask yourself:
- has my role changed at all?
- have I learnt any new skills?
- have I completed any new qualifications?
- have I taken on further responsibilities?
Fine tuning your CV is also a chance to assess your career aspirations and find areas in which you could improve upon or start from scratch completely.
Setting aside time every few months to take a look at your CV will make it far easier when you do choose to look for jobs. No one wants the frantic rush of looking for a new job whilst having to amend a CV that’s two years out of date!
Grow Your Network
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s always good to know other people in your field. Ever since social networks popped up, it’s been easier to meet people (from all around the world), and the virtual contact cuts out those awkward face-to-face silences. Building your contacts database can help lead to a plethora of opportunities.
Reid Hoffman knew he was onto something big when he founded LinkedIn back in 2002. As the first social network solely for the professional world, LinkedIn has grown to become a respectable and reputable source for professionals to showcase their skillset and recruiters to source fresh talent. Basically, if you still don’t have an account, get one!
But you shouldn’t ignore traditional networking though. Meeting people at events and conferences – albeit a little nerve-wracking – is really beneficial. Networking in person gives you the chance to make a strong first impression and be remembered. If you’re new to these kinds of events, start small and challenge yourself to strike up a conversation with at least a few other people on the day.
If your career demands regular attendance at events, think about putting yourself forward to have a more active role – you might be able to feature as a guest speaker, or organise your own event.
Look For Development Opportunities
No one wants to be plodding along in a 9-to-5 job with no room for progression. Avoid getting stuck on the hamster wheel by being proactive and looking for ways that you can enhance your responsibility or stretch that extra mile. Regardless of how high up you are on the career ladder, there’s always the chance to develop.
Think about the next steps – this might be as simple as generating your own ideas rather than waiting for others to, or switching up your role to balance both team skills with leadership responsibilities.
Now’s the time to sit down with your boss and talk about where your career is heading. If there are any promotional opportunities on the horizon understand what path you need to take in order to reach this.
Make Time to Read
Just because you’ve left school, doesn’t mean you should give up reading. Structure your day to allow for some quality reading time. Sign up to an industry blog or academic journal so that you can keep your eyes on the latest trends, developments and changes within your sector.
Having this insider’s knowledge will impress your boss (or future employers), and prove that you’re committed to your career. If you find it hard to factor in time, spend your commute to work browsing articles, or take a walk on your lunch break and tune into a relevant podcast, TED Talk or conference stream.
This year is still young so start things off on the right foot by thinking seriously about your career. Do you have a new year’s resolution for your career? Share with us by leaving a comment or tweet us @celebriciouscom.