Job Talk: Resolve to improve professional prospects
It’s 2008 and career resolutions are in order. As you plot and plan the new and improved you for this year, don’t neglect the professional you.
1. Resolve to get a better job. You may love where you are, but is it really where you want to be? Has complacency settled in for the winter and enticed you into forgetting your ambitious goals for your future? Don’t endanger your marketability by stagnating professionally. If you’ve learned everything you can about your current job, maybe it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.
2. Resolve to learn a new skill. You may be all that and a bag of chips, but everyone can benefit from learning a new skill or brushing up on an old one. Identify a few of the skills or credentials that would enhance your future growth chances within your career field and go after them.
3.Resolve to be a better co-worker. Whatever your work situation, you can always find ways to be a better colleague. Does your office mate drive you nuts? Try to be a bit more understanding or learn to not let him bug you. Are you the offending soul and you’ve just been too blind to see it? Get a reality check and do something positive about it. Offer to help out others when they are behind. Chip in and help keep the office microwave and break area free from lethal bacteria. It really is the little stuff that makes a huge difference.
4.Resolve to go after your dream job. Maybe a new job just won’t do it for you. Maybe it’s time you realized that life isn’t endless and you have to create your own chances to follow your dreams. Whether that dream involves quitting your day job and joining the Peace Corps or starting your own business, just do it. There will always be reasons not to go after it but do you want to ultimately regret that you didn’t?
5.Resolve to address your existing professional obstacles. Whether it is the lack of a college education, relevant work experience or simply bad breath, identify the weaknesses that pervade your career and silently sabotage your future. After you brutally identify them, take action to remedy them.
6.Resolve to update your resume. If it has been more than six months since you reviewed and updated your resume, you’re overdue to do so. Opportunities happen when you least expect it and you will have an edge at seizing them if you have your paperwork in order.
7.Resolve to expand your network. People who know people get better jobs and advance their careers quicker than those who don’t. So plan to meet more individuals who can help you (and vice versa) in the New Year. Join a professional organization. Volunteer in your community. Renew an old contact. Do whatever it takes to enrich your career with people. People count.
8.Resolve to improve your health. Whether you are a size 2 or 20, focus a significant effort on your health. Surveys say that healthier people (or at least those perceived to be) are more likely to be hired than those who aren’t. Aside from aiding your career, you’ll be improving your personal quality of life. In other words, it’s a win-win situation for you.
Happy New Year — and career — to you!
Janet I. Farley is the author of “The Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Guide” and “The Military Spouse’s Complete Guide to Career Success.” Her column appears monthly in Stars and Stripes. She can be contacted at: email@example.com