5 Tips for the New Year! Career Bootcamp

Happy New Year!

Everyone chooses to celebrate the New Year differently; some of us have our own unique customs. I fully enjoy what the New Year represents, I use this time as a fresh start, new beginnings and letting go of the past. I shed any unmet goals from the previous year and redefine my objectives for the coming year. I see the New Year as time to change, evolve and sharpen my skills. I will write down my New Year’s resolutions but also what steps I am going to take to help me in reaching my goals. If you are like me, you want to use 2014 to continue changing, growing and reaching new heights. I have listed 5 tips below that will assist you in sharpening your professional outlook. I’m sorry, no fitness tips here but we are going to be working out some areas that will improve your career or help you land that new job!

1) Keep a journal or log of your job duties – a weekly summary of the actual activities you perform on a daily basis should be recorded. Why? We sometimes forget and neglect to give ourselves credit for helping a co-worker, staying late during peak hours or that problem that you solved for your supervisor. This is not only important for your records but it will be especially be helpful come review time!

2) Keep a log of accomplishments – this is separate from the job duties log, this list should be updated routinely and at the very least monthly. The list could be small or large achievements or accomplishments professionally and personally. It could be anything from a negotiated contract with a tough client or getting significant results from data analysis. Despite how small it seems, it come handy at a later date! This is important for a variety of factors, it will help you review the professional growth you have achieved, promote yourself to others and keep a fresh perspective on your skill set.

3) Have a plan, a goal in mind and write it down – it doesn’t have to be color coded and in perfect font, but it should be a realistic reflection of a position you want to advance to in the next 12 months. If you have true intent then put it on paper, you are more likely to commit to something that is written down. If you want to use it as inspiration, then put it on sticky notes in your bathroom, in your car or somewhere visible to remind yourself of why you do what you do. Caution: I stress having the right motive when selecting the objective. The goal should be something that you would hold in high value.

4) Update your resume quarterly – weeks turn into months and months turn into the end of the year, are your job duties still the same? If you look closely, you will find that you added extra responsibilities, titles, certifications, training and volunteer activities. Make sure your resume is fresh, up to date and ready for any new opportunity that taps you on the shoulder when you’re not looking.

5) Grow where you are planted – the easiest way to be recognized, appreciated and promoted is to do the best you can with what you have. Strive to do your best in your current role if you plan on staying with the same company. If you plan on making a career move, same advice. Continue to build your skill set, build your knowledge and use your resources in your current role until you make the move you want.

WARNING: If you apply the 5 tips above, you will be a go-getter! When applying these simple activities, you will easily be able to market yourself for that well deserved raise or get that position you didn’t even know you’re ready for! Happy New Year and let’s make this year our best so far!