Signs of economic improvement have many thinking that now might be the time to find a new job — or at least work toward a promotion or raise. As you consider your current situation, it’s a great time to think about what you can do in the coming year to make yourself more marketable. Here are 5 career goals to achieve this year to help you move ahead:
1. Create a Career Strategy
You won’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are going. Determine a career strategy that works for you. Identify what you want to do, and where you want to be a few years down the road. Then, determine the steps you need to take to get there. Start this year to implement your career strategy. It’s a great way to move beyond a dead end job, and take positive steps forward.
2. Build Your Network
More and more, who you know can really help your career. Whether it’s providing you with a solid recommendation, letting you know about an opening at a company you want to work at, or introducing you to someone influential in the field, your career network can be a great resource to you. Use this new year to build your network, making contacts in your desired field, and at potential workplaces. You can build your network through in-person events and conferences, as well as virtually, using the Internet to make new connections.
3. Earn Certifications and Skills
What skills are essential in your line of work? What education do you need to move up to the next level? Assess your current skill level, and learn what is required to move ahead. Then, make a plan to achieve those skills. Some companies offer training programs for future managers. You might need a particular software certification in some jobs to get ahead. Taking a particular skills and knowledge test might qualify you for a raise. Find out about these programs and incentives, and then go for it.
4. Develop Your Soft Skills
In order to succeed anymore, you also need solid soft skills. We often don’t think about our ability to interact with others orally and through writing. However, these skills can be very valuable. Soft skills like problem solving, creativity, and even a good attitude can help you in your career. Resolve to improve your career this year by developing your soft skills so that you are more valuable.
5. Consider Quitting
For some people, the best career goal is to…leave the career behind. While this isn’t something that works for everyone, many find that a conventional job is draining. If you have a great idea for a business, consider quitting your current career and striking out on your own. The Internet has invented hundreds of new opportunities. Start out with a side hustle, and build it up in your spare time.
If you are unhappy in your career, and progressing further in the same field fills you with dread rather than energizing you, consider quitting and taking your career in a whole new direction.