It’s a new year and a fresh start. Whether you’re looking for your next career move or are angling for a promotion at your current job, take a moment to create resolutions for what you want to accomplish professionally in 2013.
Take Stock of Where You Are
Are you where you want to be professionally right now? Do you feel like you’re churning your wheels and are ready for the next thing? Do you think you’ve outgrown your current role? These are all important to take stock of when creating your professional resolutions at the start of a year.
Write down all your major professional accomplishments over the past year. Include any new skills you gained, promotions granted or new job secured. It can be beneficial to start by looking at all the great things you’ve done.
Now consider what you want to accomplish this year. Be Realistic If you just got a job promotion or a raise, you might not realistically be able to expect another one this year.
And if you’ve been angling for a Director position, you might need to come down to Earth and realize your resume doesn’t yet stand up to the job requirements.
When creating goals for yourself, it’s important to have a realistic view of what you can feasibly do in the coming year. That being said, you also need to make your goals just painful enough that you have to work hard to achieve them.
Consider Your Options
If you’re unhappy in your current role, consider the possibilities. You could: ask your boss for more responsibilities in an area you’re more interested in present your case for a promotion apply for another job in your company apply for another job outside of your company It’s not enough to say “I hate my job.” You need to then determine what you will do to change the situation.
Once you do this, create action steps to make your resolution a reality. For example, if you think you deserve a promotion, find out what the role you want to take on requires in terms of experience and skills. Then assess your experiences and be honest with yourself about where you fall short. Find the opportunity over the next few months to develop those areas.
Once you feel you’re ready to present yourself as a qualified candidate for the role to your boss, set up a meeting. Discuss the achievements you’ve made in the past few years and pitch him on how you’ve worked hard to get the necessary skills and your accomplishments.
That Being Said…Write it Down on Paper and Share!
Studies show that writing down goals can help increase the chances that you achieve them. Sharing them with someone else can help you keep on track. So give yourself every opportunity to make them become a reality.
Keep your list of resolutions on your desk or refrigerator where you can see them every day, where they will serve of a reminder of what you are working toward. Then when you achieve them one by one, you can mark them off your list!
I’ve come up with a few of my own resolutions – particularly around productivity.
As a mother of a toddler and a baby, this is the spot in my personal and professional life where I need to find more harmony and less guilt.
- Spend more time talking with professional contacts and colleagues, and less on email, Facebook, and other places where interaction is limited by “likes”, retweets, and send buttons. Relationships are the key to my business. While social media definitely enhances the relationships and keeps me connected, more one-on-one time with individuals will pay off in the long run.
- Focus on specific tasks without interruptions. Stop wasting time by “multi-tasking”, disconnect from the internet and focus on the given task. I know I will be 100% more productive if I minimize the distractions, shut off email and the cell phone, while working on projects.
- In addition to expanding Paradigm Staffing, I want to branch out our public relations job board, Hoojobs, into other geographical markets outside the United States and launch at least one new job portal for other industries. What are some of your professional goals for 2013?
As the end of the year approaches, we’re all inspired to make life-changing improvements. While you’re reflecting on 2010 and planning for 2011, take some time to think about your job-search strategy and include it in your resolutions.
Here are six New Year’s job-search resolutions to consider:
1. I will build my online presence.
If you’re reluctant about using social media tools for your job search, let go of your fears in 2011. Building an online presence is likely to take your job search to new heights. What do employers see when they do a Google search for your name? Consider starting a blog, uploading your VisualCV, participating in LinkedIn group discussions, and making new connections with like-minded professionals on Twitter. A strong online presence raises your visibility with potential employers and could help you uncover hidden job opportunities.
[See 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media for Your Job Search.]
2. I will update my resume and personalize my cover letter.
Don’t lose an opportunity to apply for a job because you haven’t updated your resume. The beginning of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on your career accomplishments and future goals—and incorporate them into your resume, cover letter, online profiles and other job-search materials.
Check out the rest on US News and World Report’s On Careers blog: 6 New Year’s Resolution for Job Seekers
This is a guest post by Alison Kenney
January 1 brings out the optimist in all of us. It′s a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. For those of us who want to make a commitment to change in our PR careers, consider these New Year resolutions for 2010:
- Embrace technology: if you haven′t already, look for opportunities to learn about and use new forms of technology like podcasting, video, Flickr, Slideshare and more. Many of these technology tools are now easier than ever to use and can make a big difference is helping PR pros tell a story and/or spread the story to new or larger audiences.
- Get your creative juices flowing: great storytelling is critical to good PR. If your storytelling skills are getting stale, look for ways to bring them back to life. Build creative writing skills and bolster your vocabulary by joining a writer′s support group, stocking up on reference resources or reading work written by good writers (in any medium or industry). Likewise, think about learning some new presentation skills — through a personal coach, via an improvisation or acting class, or by gleaning tips online or through articles.
- Be social media savvy: if your idea of incorporating social media into PR campaigns consists of re-tweeting a client′s news, it′s time to spread your wings and learn about all the ways social media, online communities and SEO tools can enhance a PR program. Fortunately there are plenty of resources to help you get up to speed. Search Mashable for best practices examples and tips, sign up for a webinar from Vocus or HubSpot, attend seminars, association meetings or casual meetups and ask around to get examples of social media success stories.
- Get grounded with measurement: technology and social media are a boon to the PR toolbox, but don′t use them for the sake of using them. Make sure your PR strategies are in line with overall PR goals, which themselves need to be in line with your client′s or employer′s business goals. Clearly stated goals make it easier to come up with the right metrics for measuring success. This will be a hot topic in 2010 so look for lots of conversations about measurement in online forums and social media.
- Become a PR thought-leader, or at least join the discussion about PR trends: start by resolving to stay on top of industry news and developments. To get started, set aside time regularly in your schedule to stay on top of the news and to read what other industry leaders are saying. Technology makes this easy: you can subscribe to and scan blog headlines with Google Reader, get news alerts delivered with Google Alerts, set up lists of news headlines and PR pros on Twitter or TweetDeck. Use online communities to learn, too. Join a Twitter chat, answer questions on LinkedIn or participate in another form of professional online discussion.
Alison Kenney is an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience. She is based on Boston′s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.