– By Elana Konstant, Esq.
Every January we all make New Years resolutions with the best of intentions. By February, those resolutions are usually long forgotten and the bad habits firmly back in place. Rather than set yourself up for failure with grandiose ideals, perhaps it’s best to stick to the basics and give yourself small opportunities to shine. Nowhere is this more true than in your career. Creating an action plan for improving your professional prospects through incremental changes can be wildly successful. Certainly more so than vowing to lose that last ten pounds by Valentine’s Day! To get you started, here are 10 Things To Do For Your Career In 2014:
1. Join LinkedIn: If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon, now is the time to do so. With over 250 million users, LinkedIn is an incredible career resource for networking, learning about job opportunities, and staying ahead of industry changes. Make sure your profile stands out and demonstrates your professional accomplishments. Always keep an eye on how others in your field describe their work so that your profile stays fresh and inviting.
2. Dust Off Your Resume: Even if you’re not currently in the market for a new position, it is always a good idea to have a working version of your resume just in case. Most companies employ recruiters or software programs to weed out irrelevant applications so have yours speak directly to the needs of the position by including key terms, the proper context for those buzz words, and the names of high-profile competitors.
3. Revamp Your Brand: Keep track of your online reputation and make sure it conveys the information you want out there. In addition to updating your physical and online marketing materials, think about where you are really lacking expertise and then go create opportunities to build those skills. Make sure you ask for projects that will advance the experience you need to take your career to the next level. Also consider attending classes and workshops to further reinvent yourself.
4. Grow Your Network: It is easier than ever to stay in touch with people and retain the professional connection. Remember that someone is much more likely to help you if there is something in it for her as well, so try to create partnerships wherever possible–make introductions, pass along industry knowledge, etc. Be sure to follow up with panelists, and speakers from networking events to bring them into your network.
5. Use Social Media: Beyond making personal connections, social media is also helpful on a macro level to learn more about the companies and industries that interest you. Follow the companies on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and join relevant professional groups to receive constant updates about their work and learn about events. This is a great way to hear about networking opportunities and job openings.
6. Take Note Of Your Achievements: Take stock at least once per month of your major accomplishments. It’s so easy to forget what you have done over the course of a year so creating a reminder to keep track is a great solution. Having this list at your disposal will be vital during performance reviews, when looking for new work, or if planning to ask for a raise or promotion.
To read the rest of this article, please visit our Gooseling parenting blog at http://gooseling.com/2014/01/07/10-things-career-2014. This article was written by Elana Konstant, a former lawyer who now works as a career coach/consultant. The majority of Elana’s clients are mothers who are returning to work after a break or women trying to strike a balance between the demands of their careers and families. For more information, visit her web site at www.konstantchangecoaching.com. Beachwood Mompreneur Lisa Danielpour is Co-Founder and COO of Gooseling, dedicated to teaching children social & life skills through video game apps. Cavity Dragons is the first game designed to encourage kids to brush their teeth.