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By Erica Skoutas

At the beginning of 2017 you may have made a New Year’s Resolution for yourself. Every year people make personal resolutions, but they often forget they should also be making career resolutions.

The first step in making a career resolution is to really evaluate your current situation. It doesn’t have to be at the start of the New Year, maybe you should use your hire anniversary, but every year you should set a time to really focus on your career and evaluate how things are going. Think about how you feel about your career. Are you happy, proud, appreciated, feel like you are truly making a difference? Start a career journal and use it track your progress and collect your thoughts.

The next step is to think about your own personal career goals.  Think about where you want to be right now (…in 1 year, in 5 years, etc.) Now consider your current career and decide whether or not it is going to allow you to reach those personal goals. Do you have an income goal you are trying to reach? Do you want to apply for a new position or take on a management role? Do you ultimately want to start your own company and be your own boss? Write down your goals, give yourself a date to reach these goals and continue to check back and note any accomplishments or make any necessary changes.

The next step is to think about what you need to accomplish in order to reach your goals. Start by making a list of what you need to do and give yourself a completion date. Do you need to ask for a raise? Are you waiting for a new position to open up within the company? Do you need to go back to school for a higher degree? Do you need to be financially ready to start your own business? You should do some self-reflection and determine how you can make yourself better. Should you have a more positive attitude? Do you need better time management or organizational skills? Do you want to make yourself more marketable by learning a new skillset or becoming more tech savvy? Try reading more “career motivating” books, or become someone’s mentor, or maybe you need a mentor for yourself. Whatever it is, push yourself to become a better you!

Lastly you should be keeping track of your progress. Look back at where you started and write down any progress or accomplishments you have made. Always keep track of your personal successes and always have an updated resume with any newer accomplishments, responsibilities, or new positions. You should also update your contacts and your network of people. You may need to use someone as a reference or need a contact at another company at some point. It is easier to have current points of contact and periodically touch base with people throughout the year and not just when you need something.

Reevaluate your career yearly, set new goals for yourself and watch yourself become successful.

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