A new year is upon us, which means a renewed energy and commitment to the things we love or areas we need to improve. While weight loss, general health and “being a better person” usually rank high on the list, it’s worthwhile to consider a few career development resolutions as you get ramped up for 2013. Here are four resolutions to consider that will keep you ahead of the game.
1. Doing your job the best you’ve ever done it
In 2013, commit to being the best at your job no matter how long you’ve been at it. You’ll be less concerned about references when it comes time to make a transition. And you may even find yourself receiving new responsibilities and projects to add to your repertoire.
Additionally, there’s always something you can do better at. If you’ve truly mastered your role, don’t be afraid to ask how you can expand it. Your renewed commitment will be the evidence to back it up. Remember, the objective is development!
2. Work on a significant project with someone you dislike
Interviewers like to assess your ability to work with people and manage conflict. What better way to ace this question than to talk about how you took the initiative to work with someone you’ve disagreed with in the past? At a minimum, you’ll have built a new relationship and ally. You never know how that person may be able to help you down the road. It’s worth a shot!
Do you like everybody? Then try working with someone you’ve never worked with before—preferably from a different team. The above will still apply.
3. Refresh your résumé
You never know when the dream opportunity may present itself. And with so many people vying for the same gigs, applications pile up within days of a position opening. Not applying within the first 48 hours could be the difference between an interview and a foot in your backside.
If you’ve been working for a while, it’s probably been some time since you updated your résumé. Now is a great time to think about all you’ve accomplished in 2012, and what you’d like to accomplish for 2013. Let your résumé reflect your progress and readiness to pursue new opportunities. Change up your professional summary; highlight key responsibilities and successful projects; get rid of (or rework) bullet points for previous jobs that don’t contribute to where you’d like to go next.
Once this is done, make it a point to revisit your résumé quarterly. This will save you the time and stress of trying to get it ready for what could be a dream job—or, at the very least, a better one—should the opportunity present itself.
4. Get out there and network!
Don’t let complacency stop you from meeting interesting people. Many jobs today are found through referrals, and you can’t be referred if nobody knows who you are. Through online social mediums like LinkedIn and Twitter, there’s no reason to not get started finding interesting people and groups that share common interests. It’s easier to find the right info when you surround yourself with the right people, online or in real life.
These are just four career development resolutions. Let development permeate all aspects of your life. 2013 should be the year you get every room in your house in order… good luck.
Rich Jones is a Pathfinder for Professionals with a knack for helping the wayward determine the next steps of their careers. He’s also a certified professional in Human Resources with for-profit and non-profit recruiting experience. Check Rich out on his career blog, I Am Rich Jones.