Often the new year is a time of reflection, a time to see what has happened, where you are and where you want to be. It is a time when people set up new resolutions and goals, so as we venture into the new year, let’s take some time to set your own career goals. To do so, it is helpful to break down your path into several steps. Creating a career plan, working on attaining valuable skills, and creating a resume that gets results will help provide a guideline to your own career resolutions.
Your Career Plan
Sitting down and actually plotting out the where and how you will advance your career is intimidating, however this effort will pay off in the long run, as it will give you a clear path to follow. Your career path will be your list of short, measurable goals, as well as long term plans. The best plans include:
- Career options. Experts suggest researching companies, positions and workplaces to find the best fit for your own skills and interests. Speaking with professionals in those positions, volunteering and/or shadowing someone can be an excellent way to understand the nuances of the role.
- A set of goals. These goals should not only be attainable but also measurable. The old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” applies here. When setting your career plan, it can become overwhelming, but dividing your dreams into small, measurable steps will help keep you on task and motivate you as well.
- Expert Advice. Whether is speaking to a recruitment advisor, taking part in a networking group or association and meeting experts in the field you wish to pursue is invaluable. They will be able to share the steps they took to get to their position, the skills and the experience you will need and/or want to have.
As you set out to grow your career, finding the right skills to put on your resume, to speak about during interviews and to have for your new position is important. General skills that you may want to look to improve can include:
- Public Speaking. Having the confidence to speak up, share your knowledge and read your audience will not only help you during the interview process, but it can become invaluable if you are pursuing a career in management. Public speaking skills allow you to inform your audience; your interviewers, your staff, the public, about certain tasks, information and opinions you want to share.
- Prioritizing skills. Being able to prioritize your work and requests will ensure that you are always on time with deadlines, which makes a fantastic impression. Staying organized will help your peers find the information they may need from you, and will impress interviewers and new employers.
- Sales skills. Whether it is selling a product, service, or yourself, having outstanding sales skills can make quite the impression. Improving these skills will allow you to promote yourself and will improve your networking abilities as well.
Resumes are often the first introduction you make with a potential employer. Crafting one that will stand out among all the candidates is essential. The best resumes are:
- Visually pleasing. When it comes to applications, appearance counts. Applicants are often overlooked if their resume is poorly organized, difficult to read or visually unappealing.
- Establish you as a professional. Having a clear, concise, well written resume will show your future employers that you hold yourself to a high standard, and are a professional
- Written with a specific goal in mind. Whether it is to apply for a position or to put out feelers into a new field, resumes should be unique to position and company you are applying to.
2017 promises to be great, and by instilling a career path, you will surely be on your way to fulfilling your employment dreams.