4 New Years Resolutions To Advance Your Career in 2015
Every year we decide that this year is going to be different. This year we’re going to make some changes. We’re going to “make it.” We’re not all great at following through with our resolutions, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth making in the first place. Here are a few ideas to help you build you better develop the base your career in a way that will help to make your life easier for years to come.
Make 52 New Friends
Nobody loves networking. It’s tedious, awkward, and completely necessary to advancing your career. As an added benefit, you can actually make new friends, or at least cordial acquaintances, while you’re doing it. This year, pick a day of every week to creep around on LinkedIn, or whatever your favorite professional social network is, and find say hi to a few people that you don’t know. Branch out through mutual acquaintances, industry groups, or just by checking out who’s working for your competitors. Spend the rest of the week establishing some rapport with your new acquaintance, and start again the next week. By the end of the year you’ll have built a sizeable network of relevant professionals in your field.
Learn A New Skill Online
If you’re a relatively normal person you probably didn’t approach your skillset very strategically; You learned what you had to know to do your job, when you had to do it. That’s a perfectly viable way to survive, but why survive when you can thrive? This year, build your skillset strategically. What is the most important skill to gain if you want to move up in the ranks? In the last several years, many prestigious universities have launched online programs that allow professionals to take classes while continuing their careers. Do you need an MBA? How about a master’s in Social Work, or IT? Second-rate, poorly-accredited online classes are a thing of the past. Take the plunge this year and break those barriers on your career advancement.
Travel To A Conference
Nearly every industry has annual or semi-annual conferences, where important industry leaders go to convince each other that they are each the most important industry leader. While that sounds pretty awful, and not really useful to the average worker bee, it can actually be very profitable to show up to one of these every year or so. Influential people go to conferences to build their networks, which means that you have the opportunity to meet and build relationships with a lot of people who have the potential to be very helpful in facilitating your future success.
Learn A New Language
For being a melting pot of people from all over the world, the US is surprisingly monolingual. While that’s a bit of a global embarrassment for us as a country, it means that any languages you do learn are that much more valuable to any business that operates internationally. More importantly, if you’re using your second language at work you’re building job security, because it severely limits the pool of people who could replace you. With free language learning apps, free language learning online networks, and traditional paid methods still hanging around, it’s easier than ever to learn.