Check out these ten career resolutions to make for the New Year so you can start it off right.
1. Find a career mentor (We have the best on Aspire-Canada!)
Networking with those in your field is probably the single best career-move you can make in 2015. Mentors provide a wealth of experience in different areas and were once mentees themselves!
Take initiative this year by setting a goal to get to engage with a mentor this year. If you ever find yourself with nothing to do during a break you or have 10 minutes to spare, consider sending a quick question to one of our mentors for a quick chat about everything from his or her career path to advice for your internship search. Trust us—it’ll be worth it.
So what are you waiting for? Keep this resolution and you’ll be on your way to becoming fast friends with an amazing career guru right on Aspire-Canada.
2. Add 10 contacts to your professional network
Ever wonder how people earn those engraved, shiny nameplates on their swanky office doors? It probably has a little bit to do with the people they know. You can start reaching for your own dream job by expanding your professional network, and there’s no better time to start than now. Shoot to make 10 new professional contacts by the end of the year.
Network with professionals in your field to stay on top of industry trends.
Try to learn as much as you can at these events. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet people who have your dream careers and you’ll be able to get some great advice from them! One-on-one networking at career fairs isn’t just beneficial to upperclassmen, either. Everyone from soon-to-be graduates to CEOs can up their career game through networking.
Instead of just daydreaming about that nameplate, get networking!
3. Update your Resume
Suit up! Another year means more time to perfect your resume. If you haven’t done so already, set up a time to chat with a career mentor. It’ll do wonders for your confidence once a job is actually on the line.
As well, you need to update your resume with last years achievements. Some people are reluctant to do this because they believe it may come across as “bragging.” Not true. Rather, it speaks to how committed and passionate you are about your work. Documenting your successes has multiple benefits. Resume aside, stick with the facts and it will be all good as you help your boss remember all the great things you did and to understand what awesome things he can expect from you in the year ahead.
4. Identify two career development goals that are right for you
When people ask you what you want to do in the next five years, are you tired of responding with, “I’m not quite sure yet”? Well, 2015 could be the year you finally figure out what you really want to do with your life—with the help of lots of research, of course!
Take an online course related to your field of expertise. Lifelong learning is critical to stay fresh in your profession. Theres no excuse anymore with so many courses being offered online. Career development can also include learning a second language. In Canada, this is a huge bonus – when you can communicate in both official languages.
5. Send shorter e-mails
Successful people get more things done because they keep everything short, including e-mails. They don’t have time to read or write novel-length letters – and neither should you.
E-mails are documented impressions of how a person thinks and organizes his thoughts so write concise ones that are clear, straight to the point, and confident.
When possible, use bullet points not sentences, tables (if applicable) not paragraphs, and acronyms, not phrases. Not only do you save time from writing less, your colleagues will also thank you for reading less.
7. Become a LinkedIn celebrity
This is your year to shine on LinkedIn! Have you been putting off filling out detailed descriptions of your jobs? How about asking former employers for LinkedIn recommendations? When was the last time you updated your profile, anyway? Now’s the time to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
LinkedIn is a powerful networking and job-searching tool, so put in the effort to keep your profile in tip-top shape at all times. Connect with classmates and colleagues and really take the time to fill out those work descriptions. Try your best to keep updating your LinkedIn profile with new activities throughout the year, maybe every time you update your resume, so you’re always on top of your game.
Catch the attention of employers on LinkedIn with your rock-star profile!
8. Join a new, career-related extracurricular activity
Getting ahead on your career goals doesn’t have to mean being cooped up for hours with your laptop as your only companion. Set yourself a goal to be social and productive by getting involved in the workplace while gaining valuable career experience!
Volunteering is also a great way to gain hands-on experience, especially if you’re able to find volunteering opportunities related to your field of interest. Extracurricular activities can be great experiences to apply to future jobs.
9. Consider being a career mentor yourself!
Wait, say that again? It seems like a huge commitment, but that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. Plus, following through with the other resolutions mentioned above will make achieving this one so much easier. There are a number of organizations seeking mentors at every level. It can be one of the most rewarding experiences giving back and sharing what you’ve learned. Mentors don’t need to be at the very pinnacle of their careers – they can be entry-level or mid-career. The important thing is that you’re willing to share your experience.
Online mentorship platforms like Aspire-Canada has a format thats both efficient and quick. There’s no huge time commitment and you’re not bound by meeting anyone for coffee once a week. Most people want advice to specific questions in real-time – an online format works well for that.
So Become a mentor and give back.
10. Create specific career goals that make a difference in your day.
Before you set those New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself: What does ‘getting ahead’ mean for me? More money? More autonomy? A shorter commute? A longer title? Financial Independence? Good goals are personal, quantifiable and achievable. Results also need to be measurable; if you make your goals and your company doesn’t recognize you for those achievements, next year’s goal should be to find a new organization who will!”