These 3 career resolutions will help you no matter at what stage of your career you find yourself, whether you already have a job and want to develop yourself in your current role and organization, or whether you are currently in transition between jobs and looking for your next big thing.
Refine Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is a reflection of you: who you are, what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for. It is how you want to reflect yourself on to the world. It is not just how you look, how you act, and how you feel, but it is how you add value to others and how you make others feel.
Everything you do in in this new year should be a reflection of your personal brand, including what you do online and offline, and what you do personally and professionally.
As you refine your personal brand, look back at situations over the past year that have made you unique or have made you bring value to yourself and others, and figure out how you can leverage your uniqueness and value into your brand in this new year.
Look back and know what you did well. Write it down. Often we forget our accomplishments and only remember the bad things. As you refine your personal brand, write down your accomplishments and the ways you add value to others.
Refine your personal brand with updated online profiles, and have your elevator pitch ready. Your elevator pitch is not just for people you meet in an elevator. It is for everyone you talk to. It is an easy way to tell everyone, including your friends, coworkers, boss, vendors, and clients, who you are and why you are good at it.
Maximize Your Network
Networking is much more than just meeting everyone that you encounter in your everyday activities, at meetings, conferences, and gatherings. Networking is also being punctual with whom you spend your time and energy. Everyone has something that you can learn from, and you can be of value to many people in different ways, but there is a limit on your time, so you have to choose who you want to meet and with whom you want to develop relationships.
Look back at your past year and identify 5 people you already know with whom you want to reconnect with in this new year. Additionally, identify 5 new people you want to meet and with whom you want to develop relationships. These 10 people should be really important in that they will help you grow your career and meet your professional goals.
Once you have identified these 10 key people who will help your career, think about who they are, what they like, where they spend their time, and what problems they have that you can help solve. As you think about your list of current contacts you want to reconnect with and new people you want to add to your network, and as you make your plan to build relationships with them, remember that networking is about making connections. It is not about being fake, it is about being yourself, finding things in common, being honest, and bringing value to each relationship you have.
Improve Your Skill Set
What skills do you want to improve or develop to add to the value you offer in this upcoming year? Looking back at your former year, what skills could have added value to you, to your performance, and to your interaction with others? Which of these skills, if improved, would add the most value to you over this upcoming year?
Choose 1 skill to improve which will add the most value to you, to your personal brand, and to your network over the next year. Make a plan on how you will improve this skill.
Assuming you spend about 9 hours of your day between working and transportation, 8 hours sleeping every night, and a few hours between family and meals, this only leaves a couple hours free everyday for you to spend on developing your chosen skill. This means you have to choose the best option for you to improve your skill,
whether it is an online course, a course at a local school, a coach, or self practice.
Choose a skill to improve along with a development plan which will add the most value to you. Find that one thing that will help you win and which will make you above average.
Make the most of this upcoming year by taking action with these 3 career resolutions, and remember, your future career depends on your actions today.