The end of the year is nearing and it’s time to start planning what you’ll wear to the office Christmas party. But it’s also a good opportunity to plan some strategies for advancing your career.
Here are some steps you can take to start the new year the best way possible.
Network at the Office Party
The office party provides you with more than just a chance to let your hair down. It’s also the ideal networking opportunity, so take advantage of it.
Those people in marketing who you have wanted to talk to all year? Go and say hello over drinks. Make some meaningful connections, and seek out people who you know will be good connections for you.
Be strategic in who you talk to, and you can then follow up with these people later in the year.
Contact Someone Out of the Blue
Christmas is the perfect time to get in touch with old contacts, including those old colleagues who you have fallen out of touch with. Send them a season’s greetings to get back on their radar.
Again, be strategic. If you’re thinking of moving jobs, look up people who might be able to advance your career or who could put you in touch with the right people.
The holidays are a great excuse for reaching out to people out of the blue, so take advantage of this time of year.
Give Your Resume a Refresh
If you do nothing else this holiday season, spend some time going over your resume. When you are busy working all year, you may not get much time, or feel much inclination, to enhance your resume, so now is a great opportunity to do so.
Update it and check that it is up to date. Improve it even in minor ways, or perhaps even get a professional to look over it for you.
While you’re at it, go over your online profiles. LinkedIn is the main one, so make sure it is up to date. Also, check the other social accounts that you use and make sure they are giving out the right impression of you and that the right people can find you. A quick tweak may be all it takes to make the difference.
Plan New Goals for the Coming Year
Use this time of year to think about your goals for the year ahead, and write them down. Plan how you will reach them, and write when you want to achieve them by. Perhaps these are earnings targets or perhaps a new role. Create some strategies at the start of the year as part of your new year’s resolutions.
Sign Up for Extra Training
There is no better way to improve your career prospects than updating your skills. Now is the perfect time to book yourself some extra training for the year ahead, so search online for a course that will provide you with some extra skills.
Be strategic again. Don’t just choose a course for the sake of it; instead, choose a certification that will help you to achieve a specific goal.
For example, if you are a business analysis professional, you may want to undertake something like Certified Business Analysis Professional training in advanced planning and documentation, and Simplilearn has details of this. But whichever area you want to train in, search for opportunities to add to your skillset.
Plan Events to Visit
You can progress your career by turning up at events like conferences and industry fairs. These are great for networking, so look at a range of options for the months and years ahead, and book them into your schedule.
Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Even if you have not progressed in your career how you wanted to this year, take some time to think about your accomplishments. What have you done this year that you are proud of? Give yourself a confidence boost and this will help to get your year off to the right start.
Ask Your Boss for a Review
If your employer carries out annual reviews, make sure you prepare for yours carefully and use it as an opportunity to show your commitment to your role.
But if your employer does not carry out annual reviews, ask your boss for one. Demonstrate that you are serious about improving in your role, and ask how you could do better. This is a great way to show initiative.
Plan for Success This Coming Year
As the year comes to an end, use this as an opportunity to advance your career. As you can see, there are many small steps that you can take, and these could have a big impact on your career development next year. So start thinking about your options now, and make sure you reach your career goals next year.
Jack Norman is recently retired. He worked as a careers consultant for many years and still likes to help those stuck in a rut, or just entering the world of work, he does this through his articles which appear around the web.