It’s that time of year again. The new year is upon us and so are New Year’s resolutions. In the spirit of “new year, new you,” we are all very proactive in the process of self-improvement. Therefore, career goals are often a crucial part of our resolutions. Whether you are planning to find a new job, make a career change, upgrade your education, or start your own business, you’ll need a purposeful goal and some strategic planning to succeed. Here are some simple yet essential career resolutions that you can stick to, which will help you turn 2017 into the best year yet for your career!
Develop new skills
What’s a better time to obtain new skills than the new year? Taking the time to sharpen existing job skills or learning new ones can make you feel fulfilled professionally. It will also boost your value within your company, which will put you in line for raises and promotions. There are many ways to develop new practical skills such as enrolling in a course or program, attending workshops and conferences, or learning with online tutorials at your spare time. In addition, don’t forget to improve your soft skills such as communication, organization, and leadership. These soft skills are highly in-demand in all industries, and are in fact the top skills employers want their employees to improve.
Make it your goal in 2017 to add at least one new bullet under “Skills” or “Education.” Find out what technical skills could make you more competitive in your field, what tools or programs are most popular and in-demand in your industry, and what managerial skills would help you get a promotion. If you don’t know where to start, reference job adverts for positions you wish to achieve next, or check out the LinkedIn profiles of your colleagues a step or two forward than your current position, and think about how you can acquire more advanced expertise.
Update Your Resume (and LinkedIn profile)
If you are looking for a job or intend to move forward from your current position, keeping your resume up-to-date should be your top priority. With an updated resume in hand, you are always job-ready when a friend, a previous co-worker, or a contact from your network calls out of the blue with a great job opportunity. It’s a lot easier to update your new skills or accomplishments periodically, rather than trying to add a series of achievements and experiences all at once.
While you’re getting your resume in shape, don’t forget to polish other representations of your professional self — refresh your portfolio, edit your LinkedIn bio, and update your list of accomplishments. Keeping your credentials up-to-date is so important, even if you’re not actively looking for a job. More and more employers are browsing for potential candidates online and recruiting passive talents, having all your documents up-to-date may just lead you to your next dream job.
Build your professional network.
Whether you are employed or not, don’t wait until your next job search to start building a professional network. Building and maintaining long-term professional relationships is one of the most important things you can do for yourself professionally, regardless of your employment status.
Having a broad, diverse network developed in place will make your future job search a breeze. Networking doesn’t have to happen at formal luncheons, you could meet new contacts by attending interesting conferences relative to your industry, by hanging out with a former co-worker, or simply by having conversations in LinkedIn groups.
Networking can open a lot of career-related doors, but you need to actively and continuously work at it. When you reach out and make connections with people in your field, you’ll find industry insights, career advice, and valuable new job opportunities. But remember, these professional relationships are a two-way street, be sincere to your contacts and provide value for them as well.
Make a career change
If you are not happy with your current role, or think it’s time to move forward, face the situation and plan how you can make changes. Don’t simply complain and allow another year to pass without doing anything.
Completely changing your career path can be difficult, but not impossible once you have a strategic plan and professional support. The toughest barrier in a career change is starting over with no relative technical skills or formal experience in the new field. However, any prior work experience you had should have equipped you with numerous transferrable soft skills that are in-demand in any industry. Think about what applicable skills you have for the new industry and highlight them when applying for new jobs.
More importantly, reputable career training institutions can give you a push when thriving into new fields. As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!