Five Steps to Improve Your Career

Start the New Year by Bolstering Your Career

By John Focht

With the start of the New Year, now is as good a time as any to take a look at your job, your career, and your goals and put together a plan for the coming year.


A lot has happened to your career since last January. You may have been promoted, or received additional training or passed a certification.  Maybe you learned a new tool that helped your team.

Look through your old notes, archived emails, and even your old calendar entries. Look back on what the past you provided you professionally and update your resume.

Your resume should be a living, breathing document that you update quarterly. If it’s been a while since you have updated it, now is the time to make the updates to it.

Review Professional Goals

It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day professional grind of your job and to forget what your true professional ambitions and goals are. Are you still on track on where you want to be professionally?  Will your current job or company get you to where you want to be in the next three-to-five years?  Are you in a dead-end job?

The start of the New Year is great time to take stock in yourself and review where you are professionally. If you aren’t getting what you need from your current employer, might be a good time to begin searching for the job that will take you to the heights you deserve.


What is the status of your Linked-In profile? Have you made any updates to it since you initially crated your profile?  Is it your current position updated? Is your profile updated with recent certifications or schooling that you have attended?

You should consider your Linked-In profile as your electronic resume for the professional world to view. Like your resume, you should treat it as a living, breathing document that has your professional experience current and up-to-date.

It would be a shame to miss out on a golden opportunity because neither your resume nor Linked-In profile were updated to pass along to a perspective employer.

Additional Schooling

Let’s face it, going back to school can be a major challenge especially when you factor in your normal day-to-day responsibilities with work, home and family life, after school activities with the kids, your own personal life – after all that, who really has time to go back to school?

Going back to school can benefit you in many ways. Gaining your Master’s might put you in line for the next big promotion at your office, or it might open up other doors for you that may not have initially opened up without a Master’s Degree.

If you have been contemplating going back to school, spend the next few weeks reviewing schools and the type of degree you are after. Start getting in the mindset now and get registered for next semester.  It could open the door for the new start you have been waiting for.

Additional Training

Maybe you don’t need to go back to school to pursue a degree; maybe it’s just some additional training you need to help you be more successful in your current job.

Check with your company to see if they will help pay off the training. Most companies will if you can show how they will benefit from your training.  Be prepared to speak of team, department, and company benefits when selling the training opportunity.

Make this year about you. Stop waiting for things to happen for you in your career; go out and make it happen.

This article was originally published on the Yahoo! Voices Network