A new year often brings big plans, like ditching the old job for a shiny new one. Here are three career resolutions you can make to increase the chance of that dream becoming a reality.

Define, what it is you love to do, what you’re good at, and what you can get paid for.

The things we are good at tend to be the things we love to do. How many people out there are working endless hours doing a job they hate because it pays the bills? How much more effective would these people be if they loved doing what they do and became highly proficient at doing it? The great thing about doing something you love is that over time you’ll hopefully become great at it, and your income will rise with your skill level. The goal here is to find what you love, what you’re good at, and go for it!

If you’re great with numbers and problem solving, perhaps you have great analytical skills. If you love talking and meeting new people, perhaps you have good communication skills. If you love debating and people say you’re a great listener, perhaps you have exceptional negotiation skills.

Now ask yourself two vital questions, “Where can my skills be utilized and what companies would have a need for my skills?”.

Become an industry specialist.

In today’s economy, employers are looking for individuals with highly specialized skills. You must brand yourself on your resume, on the web, and within your professional network as an industry specialist. If someone looks at your resume, can they tell what you do within 10 seconds or reading it? If your name is Googled, what type of information shows up in the results?  If someone within your network has a question that is related to your industry, position yourself as an expert by providing the answer or helping them find a solution.

Build strong relationships with industry leaders and experts within your professional niche.

When you send your resume to one employer, you may be considered for the one job you’re applying for. However when you send your resume to a colleague or professional contact, you may be considered for numerous jobs. Focus on building 3 to 5 strong relationships with others in your field instead of 10 weak relationships. Take the time to meet them face-to-face and learn more about what they do and any potential opportunities within their organization. Be sure to ask your contacts what skills and qualifications their organizations are looking for and adjust your resume accordingly before you send it to them. It takes time to create a lasting connection, but once you build that professional relationship they will know you, your capabilities, and they’ll think of you when the right opportunity arises.

By incorporating these three career resolutions into your new year plans, you’ll increase your chances of ending up with a job you love.

See also:

5 great networking apps for business travellers 
Top opening lines to get you talking and networking


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