As the eventful, turbulent 2016 comes to an end, many of us are looking forward to the new year and a fresh start. It’s a great time to begin thinking about the changes or improvements you want to make in your professional life in 2017.
With that in mind, we asked our career experts to offer up their top career resolutions to help you start the upcoming year off with a bang.
“In 2017, your digital footprint matters more than ever,” explains Wendi Weiner, attorney, Forbes Career Coach and owner of The Writing Guru. “Make a commitment to creating a powerful digital footprint through LinkedIn. Companies are now Googling candidate’s names and using LinkedIn as the first go-to place beyond reviewing a candidate’s resume. LinkedIn enables you to have a powerful brand that details your career history, your career value, and marketing presence. Make sure that your profile is up to par in 2017 with keywords and branding elements, and consider investing in having your profile written by a professional.”
A new year symbolizes a fresh start and is the perfect time to refocus on what’s important to you. It’s also a great time to invest in yourself and your goals, both personal and professional.
“Take a Udemy course, start a new degree, get a professional development certificate, pay to hear someone speak, go to a conference—whatever it is, spend time to make yourself a better version of you,” career coach Marla J Williams suggests. “Be the best you can be. You can do this NOW, don’t wait for the new year.”
If you’ve been employed by the same company for a while or attending post-secondary, you likely haven’t updated your resume for some time. Marla J suggest you update your resume and optimize it for future opportunities.
“In the new year I highly recommend getting your resume up to date and always having it available. One never knows when opportunity knocks. Clients have come to me in a frenzy because the perfect job opportunity has presented itself and their resume was not up to par.”
Working towards new career goals or making a career transition is bound to come with its obstacles, meaning it is important to have the right mindset to get through those hardships. Career coach Lynden Kidd suggests you stay brutally optimistic and keep pushing forward.
“See the opportunity in every difficulty and anticipate the most favorable outcome out of every situation,” Lynden explains. “Whatever you look for, that’s what you’ll find. We can get better or we can get bitter; it all depends on the lessons we draw from each experience. Optimism is like electricity — very little happens without it. Know this truth: you have all the resources you’ll ever need to handle all the challenges you’ll ever have. In true emergencies the true you will emerge.”
“Take control of your job search in 2017!” career coach Mary Kruger says. “Rather than applying to any job postings or ads, choose the companies or organizations you would like to work for. Target these companies by contacting them directly. Or ask your network if they know anyone who works in certain companies/organizations that you would love to work for. A career coach can guide you through the process. Your dream job may be just around the corner! ”
“You and I are at our best when we’re being authentic,” Lynden advises. “We’re at our best when we’re being positively spontaneous, because that’s when all our energy is being invested in the task at hand or with the person in front of us. In a hyper-competitive world, we cannot afford to delay while we second-guess ourselves. Success in the New Year is all about speed. So act now, because if not now, when?”
We are all guilty of setting unrealistic New Year’s resolutions for ourselves come January 1st. And even if you may, in fact, be able to lose weight, get a degree, buy a house, land your dream career and have a baby within a year, those are pretty high standards to set. What’s more, if you put too much on your plate at once, you run the risk of burning out quickly and not accomplishing anything. That is why career coach Tonya Echols says being realistic is an important career resolution to make this year.
“While you want to set goals that stretch you to new heights, make sure they still have some basis in reality, especially as it relates to time and pacing,” Tonya explains. “It may feel motivating to say you’re going to do a year’s worth of business in the first quarter, but it could end up leaving you feeling defeated once you are faced with the logistics of meeting that goal. That’s not to say that incredible things can’t happen, but don’t rely on that when you are setting your goals. Keep the realities of life, math and the laws of physics in mind as well.”
“In the game of life, it’s not about who’s right, it’s about who’s left,” Lynden says. “Over 60% of us are more than 36 years old. The real currency of the this century is not cash; it’s vitality. It’s the ability to keep going every day of every week of every month of the year with vigor and verve. All you are to the people around you is a source of energy, and you cannot give what you don’t have.”
“When you are fully present, you offer your whole self to whatever it is that you are doing,” explains career coach Marla Williams. “When your attention and your energy are focused in the moment and on the task at hand, it is a more powerful experience and you will get better results faster. When you work in this kind of state consistently, you will begin to feel more alive and invigorated. Think about it, you may feel this kind of aliveness when you are absorbed in work or play that you love. I feel this way when I paint, or hike in the woods, take photos and coach. When have you felt this magic of aliveness or what I call being in the zone? Just know that this type of aliveness and deep engagement is available to you in every moment of every day and is dependent on how present you are. The more present you are in all that you do, the more meaningful your entire life becomes.”
We have all heard about the power of networking, but there is more to it than just having a ton of connections on LinkedIn or followers on Twitter.
“The person with the best connections wins,” Lynden explains. “The wider your network, the more opportunities you generate. It’s all about trust. And it’s all about profile — your presence in the minds of the people who matter. So invest at least 10% of your time broadening your sphere of influence. Connect other people to the opportunities within your network: cross-pollinate their potential. When you are with others, make every encounter a pleasurable one. When you listen, truly listen. And, burn your fear of rejection.”
“The purpose of life,” said George Bernard Shaw, “is a life of purpose.”
“What’s yours?” Lynden asks. “Where are you investing your personal energy: self-preservation or adding value to others? Here’s the well-being paradox: If you’re only concerned about yourself, you cannot take care of yourself. Only by helping others, can you succeed.”
“No one likes to plan for obstacles, but a good goal-setter will have a Plan B, C and D just in case,” Tonya says. “If you are prepared for the possibility of challenges, you can have a plan in place to help you maneuver around it and still meet your goal without batting an eyelash. It isn’t admitting defeat to plan for obstacles, it is actually refusing to accept defeat by being prepared to overcome anything that gets in your way!”
Kristen is the editor and community manager at Noomii.com and the Noomii Career Blog. Kristen's desire to ask questions and share information with others led her to pursue journalism. While she has worked at various publications, covering everything from municipal politics to local restaurants, it was her love of self-improvement and sharing inspiration with others that made Noomii the perfect fit. Connect with Kristen through Twitter.