This year is the year: you have made up your mind that improving or leaping into a new career is going to be your main priority. Now, you just need to figure out how you are going to make that happen. Whether you are planning to get a promotion, take a leap into a totally new career in a new industry, or make the most out of your current job devolving it, your determined you are going to make big things happen for yourself.
Alexandra Cavoulacos, co-founder and COO of The Muse and co-author of the forthcoming book, ‘The New Rules of Work,’ has tips to help you meet your goals. From sprucing up your professional social media presence to networking IRL, here are 8 ways to make this year an amazing one for your career
1. Polish up your Resume and Cover Letter
Before submitting any of your materials, brushing up your documents by targeting them effectively to what job you’re applying to. Focus on the job description and pull out any keywords and responsibilities ensuring that your resume and cover letter present you as a no-brainer fit for that role by honestly infusing those very keywords and any skills that would make you suitable for that role into your own materials.
2. Keep your LinkedIn Profile up to date
Cover letter and our resumes are important. But, so is your LinkedIn profile. So, if you haven’t got one set one up and keep it updated regularly. If you previously set up a profile take some time to update your information. Add a new professional profile photo and cover image to make your page visually appealing. So that it grabs attention you want to make some changes to your summary go back and take some time to actually fill in each section. Keep on top of any pending connection requests and send out something personalized to people you’ve recently met involving them in your LinkedIn profile. Also this gives any hiring managers or networking contacts a good first impression.
3. Put Yourself Out There
Join a professional association in your industry, head to a networking event or even sit with a co-worker you don’t really know for lunch on your break. Once you reframe networking as a chance to meet people who share an interest with you, you may even find some new friends along the way.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Get yourself a healthy sleep schedule, drink plenty of water, take a few short breaks throughout the work day, and set aside a little bit of time to organize your workspace and your inbox. Once you’ve adapted to a routine, you can take steps towards other healthy habits you desire. Feeling recharged, focused, and ready to tackle every day this year.
5. Learn a New Skill
There’s always room to grow and learn, so why not gain another new skill. Whether you take a course to learn a few awesome Excel tricks or challenge yourself to become more confident with speaking in groups, or even get familiar with Photoshop, theses skills will not only be fun but they will help to boost your career.
6. Stay Connected
Put all your work and elbow grease into building your professional network. If you want your network to actually be a benefit to you, you need to keep those connections awake. Mail out a few handwritten thank you notes, well wishes or fire a personalised newsletter or an article you come across you think he or she would be interested in via email. For contacts you want to get to know better, I recommend a get together for coffee to discuss a topic or so.
7. Be Productive
There is no “right” way to be productive. This year find a system that works for you, and ignore all the rest. If answering emails isn’t your core job description, you need to block time for that real work. If you want to make a meaningful difference to your routine, there are three areas to get deal with email management, scheduling/time management, and to-do lists. Consolidating your to-do list and prioritizing! Your workday doesn’t need to be set in stone so just find what works for you and make those necessary changes to suit you.
8. Get rid of that Self-Doubt
Ultimately, you won’t be able to make your career this year if you keep putting yourself down. Celebrate your achievements (even the small ones) always take some time to recognize and track the progress you’re making. If you’re having a down day, remember a small achievement from a previous week this can help you avoid feeling discouraged. Even when you experience setbacks you can rest assured that you’re at least taking steps in the right direction as every has little setbacks! However you just keep on taking your steps forward no matter how little.
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