While resolving to lose a few pounds in 2008 is probably not a bad idea, you also should give some consideration to your career “The employment picture in the new year is shaping up to be quite volatile,” said Robert Graber, founder of WallStJobs.com. “Making yourself more marketable, no matter how secure you think you are, is just prudent career insurance.”
Graber suggests putting some of these job-focused self-improvement ideas on your New Year’s resolution “to-do” list for 2008:
• Network More: Make at least one new business acquaintance per month and cultivate that relationship throughout the year. Don’t let “old acquaintances” be forgotten either, as they are the most likely to have a good sense of your professional growth to date. Pay attention to all contacts with periodic calls, e-mails and appropriate notes.
• Take Responsibility for Your Own Career: Don’t rely on anyone but yourself to map your success path. Choose near term (six months to one year) career goals (a promotion, a raise, etc.) and focus on achieving them. Keep abreast of trends in your industry and read the “people on the move” column to see where hiring and promotions are happening, in case you want, or need, to make a change.
• Get Out There: Give a speech. Write an article. Host an event. Get your name noticed in your field at least once in 2008. Visibility puts you “on the radar” for potential new opportunities and creates “career currency” at your present employer when it is time for reviews.
• Learn a New Skill: Master new software. Pursue an advanced degree. Enroll in a certificate program that is appropriate for your industry. Any of these will make you more valuable to your firm and will provide you with a well-deserved sense of achievement.
• Be Good to Yourself: Your mother was right, “If you have your health, you have everything.” So make time for yourself in 2008. Join a gym. Take a family vacation. Turn off your iPhone or BlackBerry for an hour every day. Put things in perspective and you may find that everything falls into place.
“The job market may be in for a roller-coaster ride in the new year,” Graber said. “Make some career-oriented resolutions, just in case.”