By Kimberly Sarmiento
Twenty years ago, I spent New Year’s Eve at a friend’s house watching The Breakfast Club and MTV’s best 100 video’s of the 80s as we said hello to a new decade.
That night, my brilliant friend decided she wanted to give up chocolate her 1990 New Year’s resolution and for some reason that I fail to recall, she convinced me to be her partner in this endeavor. The only thing more insane than willingly giving up chocolate was her strategy to prevent temptation in the New Year: Go through as much of a 5-pound box of chocolate as we could handle in one night.
Admittedly, it worked for about six months for me and about nine months for her.
In the spirit of a new year, new decade, and in the hope of bright new things to come, I give you my top five list of things you should resolve to do for your career development and job search:
- Network. Network. Network. Yes it’s like location in real estate. The most important thing you can do throughout your career – whether or not you are looking for a new job at the moment – is build and maintain a network of professional contacts. Hopefully, you kept up with your networking during the holiday season – at office parties, neighborhood gatherings, etc…. but if you didn’t, there is no better time to touch base with someone than the start of a new year. Send a short note or pick up the phone for a quick call. Wish them a prosperous start to the year and ask if there is anything exciting on their agenda. Who knows what exciting new opportunities you may uncover!
- Update your resume. You aren’t looking for a new job? So what? Maybe you’ll need a fresh resume for a networking discovery. Perhaps you’ll want to apply for a new position in your company or ask for a promotion this year. Having an up-to-date resume is always a good idea and as your look ahead to an exciting new year professionally, it is also the best time to look back and reflect upon your most recent accomplishments and figure out your next goals.
- Document accomplishments. This goes hand-and-hand with updating your resume, but it needs to be stated separately. Don’t let your achievements for 2009 get away from you. Even if you don’t create a new resume, make sure you keep a journal of your yearly results so you don’t have trouble quantifying them when you do need fresh new career documents.
- Set professional goals. Even if you aren’t in the market for a new position, we are still in a tough job market. While I hope it seriously improves in 2010, we need to be ever conscious of our need to contribute to a company’s success and never settle for just doing the job assigned to us. So examine your position, your company’s needs, and how you can contribute in the New Year. It will serve you well when the time comes for you to seek a new opportunity and it will likely improve you standing in your current employer’s eyes.
- Learn how to sell yourself. I find most of my clients – even ones who sell products for a living – have difficulty with process of selling themselves. More than anything, you career development is dependent on your ability to believe in yourself and sell yourself to a client, business associate, or employer. Identify your value proposition – what you do well and what makes you a benefit to an organization – and learn to present it comfortably and confidently.
Follow all five resolutions or just pick a couple, but commit yourself to them and you will see your career development improve. Best wishes for a prosperous professional year in 2010!
Thank you Kimberly for your work and sharing with our members!
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
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407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110