Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Year New Career

For many of us, Monday saw us back at work for the first time after the Christmas break. As you were settling back into the routine your mind may have started to wander to your plans, expectations or hopes for this year.

2014 starts off on a positive note for the UK as the British Chamber of Commerce recently announced that it expects the economic downturn to be behind us by the autumn. With this news nervously hinting at better times to come for us and the promise of a new year and new start, what better time to assess your career and skills and think where you would like to be at the end of 2014.

Some of the most popular new years resolutions are work related, so how can you successfully achieve your goals and avoid that feeling of deja-vu next January?

The first thing you'll need to do is assess your skills, your ambitions and your current job. Are you happy in what you do and are you passionate about your job? Are your skills being used and do you have opportunity to grow? If you feel you are in the wrong line of work it is never too late to look at the options available for further study. Your local college could well offer courses to fit around your schedule to help you gain new skills and qualifications and Learn Direct centres offer practical training in many professional skills.

If you are happy in your current role but looking to progress, brush up on your existing skills and make yourself stand out above the rest. Take the latest training available and update your industry knowledge. Check out the range of courses available online to study from home. Even simply attending a relevant seminar or conference can shine a light on new ways of thinking and developments within your line of work.

Ask your boss for an appraisal or arrange an informal sit down where you can go over your skills, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. This will show dedication to your role and personal development and will let your manager know what your aspirations are.

Set realistic and attainable career goals for the year and list the steps you will need to take in order to achieve these goals.

Get organised. Sort through old paperwork and filing and tidy up your work area to help you work more efficiently and think more clearly. Look at your working methods and consider how you could better manage and maximise your time. At the end of a work day make a to-do list for the next day and be sure to complete the items on your list.

Follow through on actions and make sure you achieve all the goals you set yourself. Ask for help when necessary and don't give up on what you want to achieve.

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