Every new year brings about anticipation for a fresh start. Now that 2017 has arrived, we are all eager to approach the next 12 months with a clean slate. However, in that process, we often forget to reflect on what we’ve learned and accomplished in the last year. “Even if you’re still in the same position at your company, you’ve probably accomplished a great deal of work,” says Samantha Parris, Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “It’s important to reflect and be proud of what you’ve done before moving on to the new year.”
Additionally, a new year is the time to set new personal goals, which often include hitting the gym or eating healthier. In all of the anticipation and chaos of the holidays, our professional life is sometimes put on the backburner. “This time of year is a great time to press the reset button on your professional life as well,” says Samantha. “Even if you love your job, you should always figure out your next goal, and work to achieve it!” To help you get started, here are a few simple ways to take care of your career in 2017:
Update your resume
Even if you’re content in your job, the new year is the perfect time to tweak your resume. “If you’re in your position for several years, chances are that your responsibilities morph year over year,” says Samantha. “Plus, after many years, you may forget some of your proudest accomplishments if you aren’t careful to document them.” By reflecting on what you’ve achieved over the last year, you can add some new information to your resume. Additionally, you can update your LinkedIn profile, which can make you more marketable for opportunities you could be a fit for, but might not have applied for on your own. With an updated profile, you’ll be contacted for better openings.
Set new goals
Upon reflecting on the previous year, consider some goals you’d like to set for this one. “Not only could this be a promotion or increased responsibility at work,” notes Samantha, “but it could also mean expanding your horizons by volunteering or taking a class to learn a new skill.” By deciding what you want out of the new year, you’re more likely to pursue opportunities to make that happen, and you’ll make more decisions in support of that goal. If you’re really motivated, take the extra step to write down your goals or make a vision board.
Understand your marketability
Since you’ve updated your resume with new experiences and accomplishments, this also means that you should understand how your new experience impacts your marketability within the job market. “Even if you’re not looking for a job, you should know what kind of opportunities and compensation are available for someone with your background,” says Samantha. To start, do your own research online to find out what kind of job openings and compensation levels are open to you. “Additionally, take the extra step to meet with a recruiter who can give you the inside scoop on the job market for your industry,” suggests Samantha. “They can listen to your goals and make more suggestions based on what you’re looking for.”
Make a plan
Now that you’ve armed yourself with research and have set your goals, take a moment to consider how you might actually achieve the goals you’ve set. If your goal is within the confines of your current position, make a plan to sit down with your supervisor to ask about how you can move forward with your goals. “If you’re looking to achieve a new goal outside of the office, start by building a network of professionals who can direct you toward an excellent course to take or a rewarding volunteer program,” says Samantha.
BONUS: Get interview-ready
The new year is full of new opportunities, and you should be prepared for whatever comes your way. This includes any professional opportunities where you’ll want to present your best self as you take the first steps into your future. “Get yourself that new suit that makes you feel like you can achieve anything,” says Sam. “You never know what might come your way when you set your mind to achieving your goals!”