Believe it or not, the year is already halfway over. (That happened quickly, didn’t it?) While summer is here and it’s certainly time to take vacation, enjoy yourself, and attempt to strike some sort of “work-life balance,” this is also a great time to ask a few questions.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve been so busy working IN your career that you haven’t had much time to work ON your career. That can prove problematic if it continues for an extended period of time.
So “stop the madness” for a moment and ask yourself the following four questions:
Question #1—Have I done anything this year to enhance my professional development?
Ideally, enhancing your professional development should be an ongoing endeavor. In other words, you should not go six months or longer without doing anything in this area. That means if you haven’t done anything yet in 2014, you should be planning to rectify the situation before the end of the year.
Question #2—Have I updated (and added to) my networking list?
Social media, especially LinkedIn, makes it easier than ever to build your list of networking contacts. It also makes it easier to stay in contact with them on a more consistent basis. However, if you haven’t taken stock of your list and your contacts recently, now is the time to do so.
Question #3—Have I updated my resume with recent accomplishments?
This could pertain to anything you’ve done to enhance your professional development in the way of training and/or certification (see question #1), as well as anything you’ve done at your current employer. The latter includes awards or other forms of recognition.
Question #4—Have I updated my references?
Is there anybody new you can add to your list of references? Remember that you should ideally have five solid professional references and five equally solid personal references. What about contact information? Is all of that up-to-date?
How did you answer these four questions? Were you satisfied with your answers, or do you have some work to do during the summer months?
As quickly as the first half of the year flew by, the second half will go by just as quickly. Take time now to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to make 2014 a great year for your career.
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