With the start of each new year, many people feel a tug to make a positive change in their lives. It may be driven by a need to improve physical, economic, or career fitness. For those looking to improve career prospects, this may involve starting a new job hunt or positioning themselves for a promotion.
Begin with a Self-Assessment. What needs to change in your current circumstances to bring you greater prosperity or job satisfaction? Are you looking to take on new responsibilities? Are you unhappy with key relationships at work? Are you looking for more growth as a professional? Are you dealing with an untenable situation that requires a new set of circumstances?
Create a Plan. Once you have determined the purpose for the change, you can evaluate whether it is something that can be achieved with your current employer or if you need a new venue. Your career development plan should consider the value of obtaining additional education or training. Certifications earned provide new credentials. Perhaps personal changes need to be made. If you’re looking to move up through taking on additional projects, do you need to strengthen your assertiveness? Develop management skills? Strengthen your professional network? If job search is the purpose, determine the steps you need to take. Key to this would be fine-tuning your resume, identifying and implementing a range of job search activities (recruiters, networking, on-line applications, etc.), and honing your interviewing skills. Work out the details of what you need to do to reach your goal.
Evaluate and Adjust. If something’s not working, revisit your plan to change as needed. Consider seeking a mentor to help with especially challenging career development circumstances. Unfortunately, this strategy is not used regularly for fear of asking too much from someone else. However, many people consider it an honor to act as a mentor as long as the relationship is not abused or taken for granted.