5 Tips to Boost Your Career in the New Year

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to finally take your career to the next level – and get the position you’ve always dreamed of.

If you haven’t take those steps because you don’t know where or how to get started, follow these “must have” tips to boost your career in 2011.

Career Success Tip No. 1: Take Initiative
No matter who you are or where you work, we all become accustomed to the role we play and the daily tasks we fulfill. The next time you’re in a company meeting or brainstorming session, volunteer to work on a new project or help out another team. Joining a new effort can help you meet new people, gain valuable new skills, round out your resume, and get the attention of your boss.


Career Success Tip No. 2: Start a Project
To build off tip #1, now’s also a great time to project or idea that’s been marinating in the back of your mind to life, especially if it can benefit your career and/or your company. Maybe it’s a new business process that will streamline company ordering, or a marketing campaign that will target a new customer demographic, or a website feature that can cut your printing costs in half.

Whatever it is, make this the year you tackle that big project that could change your company, your career, and your life. Start by cutting the mountain down to a manageable size: make a list of everything you’d need to do to get this project going, starting with the easiest tasks firsts. Then start checking them off one by one.


Career Success Tip No. 3: Learn Something
When you’ve been in a certain position or field for awhile, it’s easy to get that stale feeling, like you know you’re job so well you could do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. This year, make it a point to learn something new and incorporate it into your job. Maybe it means getting a new certification for your particular industry, or finally dipping your toes into social media. Whatever you decide to learn, it can re-energize you, help you get more out of your current position, and contribute new skills to your current employer, which makes you more valuable (and promotable) in the long run.


Career Success Tip No. 4: Update Your Resume
It doesn’t matter if you’re a job seeker or you have complete job security – you should always be updating your resume. Making sure your resume is current lets you be prepared for any opportunity that may come your way. (And let’s be honest, opportunity usually comes knocking when you’re least prepared, doesn’t it?)

In addition, updating your resume will give you a great sense of where you are in your career, where your strengths lie, and which skills you need to brush up on.


Career Success Tip No. 5: Build Your Personal Brand
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start building your personal brand. Social media and online networking aren’t just passing fads anymore, so no matter what industry you work in or what position you have, you need a strong online presence.

LinkedIn is a great place to start if you haven’t signed up already. Get a nice headshot, upload your resume, and start connecting with colleagues, former classmates, and friends. As you feel comfortable, you can branch out into Facebook, Twitter, and even create your own website and blog.

For more tips, check out “Social Media Tips for the Career Professional.”

Noël Rozny is Web Editor & Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages. Noël writes and edits the career and education blog, myPathfinder and is passionate about using these technologies to help students and job seekers alike find the degree program or career that’s right for them.

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