With the start of the new year, now is as good a time as any to take a look at your job, your career, and your professional goals, and put together a plan for the coming year.
As a hiring manager for ten years, I regularly spoke with my employees about their aspirations, goals and “next steps” as far as their careers went. I especially made a point to spend the first few weeks of January to sit down with them and find out if they were still on track with their career goals. Here are some things for for you to look at while the year is still young.
A lot has happened to your career since last January. You may have been promoted, or received additional training or passed a certification. Maybe you learned a new tool that helped your team.
Look through your old notes, archived emails, and even your old calendar entries. Look back on what the past year provided you professionally and update your resume.
Your resume should be a living, breathing document that you update quarterly. If it’s been a while since you have updated it, now is the time to make those updates to it.
Review Professional Goals
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day professional grind of your job and to forget what your true professional ambitions and goals are. Are you still on track to where you want to be professionally? Will your current job or company get you where you want to be in the next three-to-five years? Are you in a dead-end job?
The start of a new year is great time to take stock in yourself and review where you are professionally. If you are not getting what you need from your current employer, it might be a good time to begin searching for the job that will take you to the heights you deserve.
What is the status of your Linked-In profile? Have you made any updates to it since you initially created your profile? Is your current position updated? Is your profile updated with recent certifications or schooling?
You should consider your LinkedIn profile as your electronic resume for the professional world to view. Like your resume, you should treat it as a living, breathing document that has your professional experience current and up-to-date.
It would be a shame to miss out on a golden opportunity because neither your resume nor LinkedIn profile were updated to pass along to a perspective employer.
Let’s face it, going back to school can be a major challenge especially when you factor in your normal day-to-day responsibilities with work, home and family life, after school activities with the kids, your own personal life–after all that, who really has time to go back to school?
Going back to school can benefit you in many ways. Gaining your Master’s might put you in line for the next big promotion at your office; or it might open other doors for you that would not have opened without a Master’s Degree.
If you have been contemplating going back to school, spend the next few weeks reviewing schools and the type of degree you are after. Start getting in the mindset now and get registered for next semester. It could open the door for the new start you have been waiting for.
Maybe you don’t need to go back to school to pursue a degree; maybe it’s just some additional training you need to help you be more successful in your current job.
Check with your company to see if they will help pay off the training. Most companies will want you to show how they will benefit from your training. Be prepared to speak of team, department, and company benefits when selling the training opportunity to your employer.
Make this year about you. Stop waiting for things to happen for you in your career; go out and make it happen this year.