5 Steps For Strategizing Your Career In The New Year


The run-up to New Year often leads people to make changes and focus on self-improvement; enjoying a fresh start and making plans for the coming 12 months.

In a professional capacity, this often means taking stock of where you are in your career and setting new goals for the year ahead.

But it doesn’t matter whether these goals are seeking a promotion, securing a pay rise, or finding a new job, they won’t just fall into place without any effort.

These goals must be achieved by taking a proactive approach and planning strategically.

So, as this year comes to a close, here are five crucial steps to strategically plan your career and goals for the year ahead.

Take stock of where you are right now

Every good strategy starts by taking stock of your current situation. You need to think about what you do on a daily basis, what you enjoy, what you don’t, where you excel, and what you’d like to do more of in the new year.

This can be a great starting point to help you determine what you’d like to achieve in the near future. For example, would you like to be earning more? Do you need new skills or perhaps you want to join a company that you are more passionate about?

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to take your time over this stage as it can be a crucial part of your strategy in the coming months.

Set clear career goals

Armed with a better understanding of where you are and where you want to be, it’s crucial to get some clear career goals in place.

Now, it doesn't matter how long you've been in the industry or how far you've come in your career, using the SMART method will always be the best way to do this.

The idea is that you break your larger goals down into smaller targets that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely.

Rather than simply stating ‘I want to get a new job’, think about the different stages of the process, as well as how and when you will achieve these.

By taking this strategic approach, you can break your goals down into more manageable targets and actionable insights, helping you start the new year on the right foot.

Refining your resume

If you're hoping to secure a new job or even a promotion in the new year, it’s vital that you refine your resume (and cover letter).

If it’s been a while, it’s time to revisit your resume and determine how you can update and improve it. There are several key ways this can be done, most notably, by making sure that you add any new skills, experience, and training you’ve completed since you were last on the job hunt.

Not only this, but it’s vital that you add any impressive achievements that are missing. If you've not included many achievements at all in the past, it’s time to rectify this situation and make sure you quantify these wherever possible.

At this stage, you might also want to rethink the layout or format of your resume to make it more modern and easier to read.

By revising every aspect of your application, particularly if it hasn’t been done in a while, you can make sure that you have the most engaging and persuasive resume possible. This can help to increase your chances of landing a role in the new year.

Boost your skill set

Something else important that you can do for yourself and your career in the new year is to boost your existing skill set.

With big changes going on in the world right now, there are certain soft and hard skills that employers are looking for in their workers. Some examples are basic data analysis, sustainability literacy, creativity, innovation, and adaptability.

So, in order to stay competitive in today’s dynamic labor market, it’s important that you continue to upskill and keep learning new things whenever you can.

By ensuring that you have both the basic technical and transferable skills that employers are looking for, you can give your resume an instant boost. This will increase your chances of standing out from other professionals.

Keep growing your network

The final strategy in this guide is to continue building your network.

Sure, there comes a point in your career when you have worked with lots of people and you’ve got a pretty impressive following on your LinkedIn account. But you never know where that next opportunity is going to come from, so it’s important that you are always growing your network.

From socializing at the Christmas party to attending relevant industry events or talks, there are so many great ways you can reach out and make more connections.

So, as we enter the new year, make sure you are proactive about growing your network and opening yourself up to new opportunities.

By following these five steps, you can kickstart the New Year with a well-defined career path and you’ll start to reach your goals in no time.

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