Lose weight. Save more. Quit smoking. New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on personal improvement. However, the New Year presents a great opportunity to work on your professional development, as well. Here are four resolutions to jumpstart your career in 2015:
Update your resume
Even if you are not looking for a new job, it is important to make sure your resume is up-to-date. This way, you will be prepared for any internal or external opportunities you encounter in the New Year. Try to update your resume after every workplace achievement, so the details and results are fresh in your memory. A frequent evaluation of your achievements can also serve as a reminder of what you are accomplishing in your career. A word to the wise, though – be careful not to work on your resume in the office. It might give your employer the wrong idea.
Commit to networking
Many people let their networks languish while they are employed, only to be dismayed at their state once they start job hunting. Remember that networking is a two-way street, and work to maintain mutually beneficial relationships. Commit to participating in discussions on LinkedIn, or join a professional or alumni organization in your city. Volunteer work and educational courses can also be great ways to meet new people, and you never know what might come about from these relationships.
Learn a new skill
In today’s rapidly changing work environment, you need to constantly upgrade your skills to stay ahead of the curve. Examine your current skill set and determine if there are any gaps that need plugging. For help with this, try talking to your supervisor or checking to see what desirable job postings are listing as requirements. If you feel that your professional skills are all up to date, try working on a personal one. For example, brushing up on a foreign language or taking a public speaking course can both lead to gains in your career.
Your multitude of papers, writing utensils, sticky notes and banana peels are not some sign of creative genius. A neat and orderly desk will reflect your professionalism, conscientiousness and organizational skills. Not to mention, a messy desk can leave you scrambling for pens or important documents when you need them. Take five minutes at the end of your day to ensure that everything on your desk is where it is supposed to be and get rid of anything that isn’t needed. Try and eliminate digital clutter, as well. Just because you have massive amounts of storage space doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make use of the delete button when needed.
The New Year can be a time to refocus and reorient your conduct. Take advantage of the 2015 spirit and aim to give your career a boost this year.