The economy has greatly improved and workers are finding in-demand skill sets that offer job security and lucrative opportunities, all in time for the arrival of 2015. Whether you’re actively looking for a new opportunity this year or are simply looking for some big career wins in the New Year, here are four career resolutions to keep.
1. Update your resume—whether you’re job-searching or not.
“Often employees don’t update their resumes, which can make it difficult to describe achievements that took place months, or even years ago,” says Arthur Kaptein, career consultant and author of “Ultimate Brainstorming: A Toolbox for Brainstormers and Facilitators.” “Employees should always update their resumes after they have achieved something, including the results that came from the achievements. This way employees will always be prepared for internal and external job opportunities … What accomplishments can help you to move ahead the coming year? How can you create new opportunities?”
2. Focus on work that gets results, and track your success.
“As a flexible working job site, we believe that productivity is better than ‘presenteeism,’” says Olivia Carr, marketing and administration executive for Flexiworkforce.com, a UK-based job site. “One New Year’s resolution that we give to employees is to adopt a results-driven attitude. That means working to achieve aims rather than just sitting at a desk from nine to five. One way of doing this might be creating a list of tasks that need to be done and ticking off when they are achieved. Also, writing a daily report of tasks accomplished could help to improve organization and impress management.”
3. Create specific career goals that make a difference in your day.
“Reaching any career goal requires you to first know what it is that you really want to achieve,” says Cheryl Rich Heisler, president of Lawternatives, career consulting for lawyers exploring alternatives. “So before you set those New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself: What does ‘getting ahead’ mean for me? More money? More autonomy? A shorter commute? A longer title? Good goals are personal, quantifiable and achievable. Results also need to be measurable; if you make your goals and your company doesn’t recognize you for those achievements, next year’s goal should be to find a new organization who will!”
4. Map out specific tasks for your goals.
“First you have to figure out what it is you really want to accomplish. Then it’s a matter of mapping out the path (and timeline) for you to get there,” says Shalyeen Stuto, talent coordinator for Technology Advice, a technology consultant firm. “Things like reading one professional development book a month, establishing relationships with five industry professionals or writing one blog article per week might be great sub-goals to lead in the direction of a larger goal. It’s crucial to set a timeline and to hold yourself accountable. Take time once a month to evaluate where you’re at in reaching your goal!”