12 New Years Career Resolutions(January 2012)
By Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC

Whether you call them resolutions, goals, or intentions, the beginning of the year is a good time to reflect on the past and look toward the future. It's a new year with exciting possibilities even in a difficult economy. As a matter of fact a difficult economy is part of the reason to always be thinking about possibilities. It reminds us we need to take active steps in our career....more than just hanging on! Think proactive, not reactive!

  1. Evaluate your career fit in terms of interests, skills, values and personality. Don't wait until you're miserable and desperate!
  2. Explore what is out there in terms of jobs, industries, including the job market in addition to career fit.
  3. Update your resume. That will make the path easier for when you actually do need it.
  4. Organize your work contacts, performance appraisals, and results of projects and keep copies at home. You never know when you might get a pink slip and need to leave immediately.
  5. Develop a “free agent” mentality thinking of your career as a series of projects to do and skills to learn since job security is a thing of the past.
  6. Take a class or develop a new skill. Anything may be helpful, but think about what your goals are and what is being asked for in the market.
  7. Reach out to some networking contacts you haven't been in touch with for a while. Thank people who have helped you in the past.
  8. Seek active involvement in a professional association, whether a leadership role or strategic committee involvement.
  9. Engage in social media, definitely LinkedIn, and possibly Facebook, Twitter or a blog. Be careful about what you post.
  10. Read trade and professional journals and consider writing a submission.
  11. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually in whatever fashion has meaning to you.
  12. Ask yourself what role you want your career to play in your life and what you want out of life.

It's an ambitious list, and I'm not sure I will personally get through them all. Even if you think about these items and take action on half of them, you'll be ahead of the game. Go with what you most want to do than simply what you think you "should" do. Admittedly, career planning and the job search may contain some items a person may not want to do, but are simply good practices.

©2012, Litzinger Career Consulting. Permission granted to reprint this article so long as the text and by-line are not changed and reprinted intact with all links made live.
Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC, owner of Litzinger Career Consulting, provides career counseling, job search advising, outplacement consulting, and business etiquette training. More information is available at www.KarensCareerCoaching.com