What Are Your Career Goals For 2013?

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    This is the time for New Year’s resolutions – to set goals and to make changes in our personal or professional lives. Let’s focus your attention on your career for 2013.

    Whether you want to find a more satisfying job, make more money, get that promotions make a job change, push for that promotion or whatever, here are five strategies to make it happen.

    1. Look back before looking forward.
    Ask yourself: Did my job build me up in 2012? In the best case, a job gives us more than money and a place to go during working hours. Did your job build your resume, your contacts and your confidence in 2012? If so, great! But don’t get too satisfied. Can your job develop you further? If not, what’s your next step?

    2. Set goals that stretch and motivate you.
    Write down three professional or personal goals for 2013 that can move or advance your career. If you can take one mini-step toward each goal this month (for instance, redoing your Linkedin Profile or redoing your resume you’ll feel as though you’re moving forward rather than standing still.

    3. Realize that relationships are critical for career success.
    The first of the year is great for networking. If you have let your network languish a bit, as many of us have, refresh it over the next 90 days! Write down the names of at least 10 people you want to connect with or catch up with. and then reach out to them. How well are you using social media?

    4. Determine ‘brand you’ and sell it.
    All too often, individuals don’t effectively market themselves when they’re searching for a new job or vying for a new position within their current company. Figure out what your strengths are, and exactly what you bring to the table. Do you have an elevator speech or “30-second commercial”? That’s a clear, succinct description of who you are and what you do (or are looking to do) should you meet someone who does not know you.

    5. Create a game plan and stick to it
    What do you want from a career in 2013? Do you want a job that will be a better fit for your skills, values and ambitions? Or will getting a certification or advanced degree make you more competitive? Or do you want to have less stress and more balance in your work life? Whatever it is, make sure you have clear action steps with metrics or benchmarks to keep you on track.

    Career Success Tip:

    Periodically evaluate the progress of your game plan. Ask yourself these key questions: Should I continue along this path? Alter it in some way? Or even move to a totally different path? Am I spending a sufficient amount of time dedicated to my career goals? Who can help me get to where I want to go?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?