6 Action Tips for Improving Your Career in the New Year

by Miranda Marquit

A brand new year is a great time to take stock of your life, and determine whether or not you are on the right track. One of the issues that might come up is improving your career, or even the desire for a new job. Is it time for a change in your career?

Whether you are looking for a promotion or a raise, or whether you are trying to start a business, or even if you just want a way to make more money on a weekend, you can improve your career in the coming year. Here are 6 things you can do to boost your marketability for the new year:

1. Figure Out What You Want to Accomplish

First of all, you need to figure out what you want to accomplish with your career. Think about what you want your job to look like. What do you want your work day to look like? Once you know what you want to happen, it’s possible to create a plan for getting there. Identify what you need to do in order to make your career preferences happen, and then begin working on a plan.

2. Develop New Skills and Knowledge

Improving your career

Developing new skills is a great way to improve your career.

If you want to be valuable to your employer, you need to show that you have the requisite skills and knowledge. If you are interested in starting a business, you need to understand your skills and learn more about the process. You can receive certification in certain marketable skills, or even take classes to boost your skills and knowledge. Figure out what your employer wants in terms of a valued employee, and then go develop those characteristics. Decide what business knowledge you need to start your side hustle, and go acquire it.

3. Volunteer

Not only can you help make the world a better place, but you can also improve your own career prospects. You can learn new skills — include soft skills like leadership and problem solving — from volunteer opportunities. Additionally, your volunteering efforts can also help you meet other like-minded individuals and broaden your business contacts.

4. Expand Your Business Network

Make an effort to expand your business network. This can be done through volunteer efforts, but you can also attend conferences and trade shows and make valuable connections. Even just joining the local Chamber of Commerce and attending meetings can be a good way to better network. There are a number of ways for you to meet new people, and this can open the door for a better career. Don’t forget, too, that you might also make a good contact for others. Remember that you can help out as well as receive help. Build a strong network, and you will have a good support system to turn to.

5. Update Your Resume

Don’t forget to update your resume and other job hunt materials. This includes the online resume that is your social media footprint. Make sure that your resume includes the latest positions you have held, and make sure that it highlights your accomplishments, using dynamic action words. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to your social media profiles. Make sure they are consistent, and make sure that they, too, reflect your expertise and accomplishments. It’s especially important to have a good LinkedIn profile, as well as to sanitize your Facebook profile so that you don’t have compromising information out there.

6. Maintain Good Relations with Your Current Employer

Even if you are trying to get a new job someplace else, or you plan to leave to start your own business, it’s a good idea to maintain good relations with your current employer. You don’t want to burn bridges. Be helpful as you train your replacement, and be positive throughout the process. Your old employer and co-workers can be part of your business network later on.

Photo credit: Scania Group

Published or updated December 13, 2012.
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