The new year is here!  You know what that means, don’t you?  That’s right . . .

New Year’s Resolutions.

For some of you, making (and either breaking or keeping) New Year’s Resolutions might be an annual event.  Others might not even give New Year’s Resolutions a second thought—or a first thought, for that matter.

Regardless of your point of view, there’s one resolution that you should make every year, and that’s this one: to do everything you can make your career journey as rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling as it can possibly be.

Working both ‘on’ and ‘in’ your career

There are those people who make the same resolutions every year—but it’s not a good thing.  They resolve to quit smoking or lose weight or stop cursing . . . and then they make the same resolutions the following year, namely because they failed to keep them.

So why should you make this same resolution each and every year?  Because it’s always possible to make your career more rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling.  That brings us to our next question: HOW do you carry out this resolution and ensure that you keep it?

Small business owners often work “in” their business and “on” their business.  This means they do those things necessary to keep their business running and making money on a daily basis, but they also do those things that help build and improve their business over the long haul.  You can take the same approach with your career.

  • Working ‘in’ your career—This involves everything you do at your current job, including in-house training, attending industry conferences and conventions, earning promotions and other recognition, etc.
  • Working ‘on’ your career—This involves everything you do outside of your current job, including additional training, networking (online AND offline), and searching for new opportunities that could serve as a stepping stone to the next stage of your career.

With both of these in mind, here are some questions that can help guide you in your quest to keep this resolution:

  1. Have you met with your immediate supervisor to discuss team and individual goals for 2012?
  2. What training does your employer offer?
  3. What training could you undergo that isn’t offered by your employer, but that could still boost your skill set and make you a more productive employee (and potentially a more attractive candidate)?
  4. What industry conferences and conventions could you attend this year—either through your employer or on your own?
  5. What steps can you take to expand your professional network (especially outside of LinkedIn)?
  6. If there was one opportunity for career advancement that would absolutely grab your attention, what would that opportunity be?  Have you shared this opportunity with us, so that we might consider you if we come across it?  Have you sent an updated copy of your resume to us, so that you’re properly positioned to take advantage of such an opportunity?

Your answers to these questions constitute the first step in keeping the one resolution that you SHOULD make every year, no matter how well you’ve kept it in previous years.  In 2012, everybody wants to make their career more rewarding, more satisfying, and more fulfilling.

And that journey starts right now.

If you have any questions about this article or about how we can help you to achieve your career goals and ambitions, please contact us.