The start of a new year is a time when many of us make resolutions or set goals for the year ahead. So, what would you like to achieve in your career this year? Maybe you want to improve your skill set or experience. Perhaps this year will be a big year of networking for you. Or it might be the year you land your dream job. If career is a focus of your plans for the year ahead, here are four resolutions that could help you get more from your career this year.
Master a skill
Developing your skills is a great way to enhance your career. The right skills can increase your value to an employer and may even open up new opportunities. If mastering a skill is on your resolutions list for this year, where should you start? First, identify the skill or skills you want to master, but also work out why. Will it help you in your current role? Will it help you find a new role? What skills are sought after in your industry right now? Where could this skill take your career?
Once you know the skills you want to master, it’s time to work out how. If it’s a new skill, then you might need to look into more formal training options. On the other hand, you may already have some skills and simply want to consolidate them. Are there ways you could get accredited or certified that can increase recognition of your skills or take them to a new level? Whatever you choose, I recommend setting some goals to keep your progress on track and help make your resolution a reality.
Expand your experience
The right experience is often essential in securing a new position. If you’re looking to change roles or even careers this year, then building the experience you need is key. Often, you will need time to develop relevant experience, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead where you can. Perhaps find out whether there are projects or secondments available to you this year that could help you gain the experience to take your career further.
Another great way to expand your experience is to volunteer. Skilled volunteering roles are available in many areas and with many types of organisations. Doing your research is important for finding an opportunity that will work for you. Aim to contribute in a role and an organisation that most closely matches your career interests. Also make sure it is something you will enjoy. If you can’t volunteer long-term, try shorter opportunities like volunteering for specific events or campaigns. As well as adding to your experience, volunteer work can also help to demonstrate your values and initiative to potential employers.
Grow your network
Perhaps this year is the time to focus on growing your network. A strong professional network can be an important asset in your career. It can help you find new opportunities and boost your profile in your industry and beyond. In addition, it can provide a space to demonstrate and document your expertise, which can be useful when applying for roles. Whether you have a good network already or you’re just starting out, it’s always a good time to grow your network.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be a variety of networking opportunities available. If you’re a member of a professional or industry organisation, see whether there are events you could attend regularly. If you’re not a member of such a group, look at joining one. It’s okay to look beyond the business setting, too. Perhaps there are sporting or community groups you could participate in. Maybe there’s an online group that would suit you better. It might be as simple as committing to regularly making use of social media platforms you’re already on. Whichever option you choose, the key to networking success is to connect with new people regularly and stay in touch with those already in your network.
Secure your dream job
Maybe landing your dream job is a resolution this year. In that case, being organised in your approach and prepared for the right opportunity will put you in a good position. Write or update your resume before you’re ready to start applying. That way you’ll be able to put your application together quickly. Always write a bespoke cover letter for each role and try to apply early if you can. More generally, it’s a good idea to polish your social media profiles and brush up on your interview skills.
If you’re still searching for the perfect role, make sure you’re well placed to hear about new opportunities. Save time and get jobs sent to you by setting up job alerts. Update your profile on any jobs database websites and check whether there’s an option to let recruiters and employers see your profile and approach you with opportunities. Another idea is to contact recruiters in your industry and let them know what you’re interested in. You might also get some fresh insights or suggestions, too. Lastly, don’t overlook your network. Ask for introductions from trusted people in your network and see whether there might be opportunities available through people you know.
Ready to take your career further this year?
Whether you are looking to master a skill, expand your experience, grow your network or secure your dream job, I hope this year brings you success. If you’re looking for ideas and insights to help you take your career further, I invite you to stay in touch. You can subscribe to our newsletter, follow me on social media or read more on our blog.