It’s the middle of December, and there’s no reason to think this December will differ from nearly every December on record: the New Year will be here before you know it.
If you’re one of the millions of people who set career goals at the beginning of each new year (or, if you’re one of the even more numerous individuals who aspire to set career goals each year), now is prime time to get started.
Whether you hope to find a job, earn a promotion, or simply excel in your current position, you can choose from a number of simple steps that can help you achieve your goals. Get started with the five ideas below (or if none jump out at you, visit CareerOneStop.org for more ideas).
- Boost your professional network. You’ve probably heard that networking can be the single most impactful activity for advancing your career. Keep your professional network fresh by continuing to make new connections. You can even get started at holiday gatherings of friends, family, or colleagues. Other options include joining a professional association, contacting career services at your college or other school you’ve attended, or using social media resources like LinkedIn to expand your network.
- Inventory your skills. A skills inventory is simply a list of skills you’ve acquired during your professional, volunteer, personal, or academic activities. Visit Skills Matcher to learn more about how knowing your skills can help you find the best career fit.
- Investigate going back to school. Have you thought about going back to school but aren’t sure what school or training type will help you most? That’s understandable, with options ranging from earning a professional certification to a four-year degree. Visit What’s right for me? to find information to help you make this decision.
- Research employers. Whether you’re interested in switching jobs within your current field, or you’re ready to try a new occupation or industry, taking the time to research employers will help your job search.
- Update your resume. Your resume communicates your qualifications and your brand—who you are and what makes you different—to employers and recruiters. Whether you’re looking for a promotion or a new job, a great resume can help you stand out in a sea of applicants. Visit Resume Guide to find tips samples to help you polish your document.
Happy career planning, and Happy (Almost) New Year.