Career Strategy Checklist - New Year Career Tips

As the year draws to an end, now is the time to plan for coming years' career goals. In addition to creating holiday shopping lists, take the time to create your own career strategy checklist to make the new year a career-defining year.

JillXan Donnelly, president of advises, "Take some time during December to conduct a reality check of your professional life. This means evaluating your career path, updating your resume to reflect recent accomplishments, and creating goals for next year. Many companies do a lot of hiring and promoting in the first quarter of the year. If you take the time now to ready yourself for new opportunities, you can breeze through the holidays and be confident in your ability to meet new career goals."

Here's the New Year Career Strategy Checklist:

Prepare for the year ahead by reflecting on this year's accomplishments Did you accomplish or exceed your professional goals in this year? Take stock now and close any gaps before the end of the year. In addition, make a list of all of your accomplishments and be sure to write down why you were successful. A surefire way to make an great impression on your boss is to make an appointment now to talk about your goals for the coming year. Being proactive will set you apart from your colleagues.

Update your resume to show off the best of you After creating your most current accomplishments list, take it one more step and update your resume.

Determine goals for the new year and think outside the box If you are accomplishing your goals without breaking a sweat, now may be a good time to decide if you should stay in your current job and ask for increased responsibilities or look for opportunities elsewhere. Remember, it is always best to look for opportunities within your organization first before venturing outside.

Get new skills while everyone else is thinking about the holiday party During the end of the year when the business is typically slower, look for new avenues to add to your portfolio of skills. Attend evening workshops, monitor online seminars or find a few business books on a topic of interest. If you are thinking about pursuing an advanced degree such as an MBA, start studying for the GMAT.

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