Career pathing in our generation is different than before. The days of working for the same company year after year, climbing the corporate ladder are gone. It’s more common now to make lateral moves, consider alternate careers and change industries. These opportunities usually don’t just appear out of thin air, however. To forge your own career path—one that truly fits your interests, skills and strengths—you need to make a few career-related New Year’s resolutions.
Improve your network.
Let’s face it: the adage “It’s not what you know but who you know” is truer now than ever before. Make it a point to participate in some sort of professional networking activity each week.
- Update your online profiles and connect with new people. (Hint: Instagram doesn’t count. LinkedIn)
- Set up lunches to reconnect with former colleagues.
- Attend happy hour with current colleagues.
- Participate in company intramural teams or leagues.
Whether you are seeking advancement within your current company or are looking for opportunities elsewhere, your chances of success improve with every professional contact you have.
Make yourself more marketable.
Dedicate an hour or more each week to developing valuable skills and keeping your resume and/or portfolio updated. You may also want to publish articles on industry websites to establish yourself as an expert on certain topics. This is important even if you aren’t actively seeking new employment right now, as you never know when your situation might change or a new opportunity will arise that requires quick action.
Find a mentor.
What do Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have in common—besides billions of dollars, that is? They both have relied on mentors. Even the most successful people need advice and encouragement. Finding a mentor in your industry gives you the benefit of their hindsight, and also provides perspective. There is no better time than the new year to find a mentor. If you aren’t sure of how to go about this, Forbes offers some tips on finding a mentor.