Wednesday, 13 January 2010 08:23

10 New Year's Career Resolutions to Consider for 2010

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Toronto -- In addition to exercising more and pledging to eat healthier, the new year could be the right moment to revisit how you're doing at work and set career resolutions. Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps' Canadian operations, points out that for workers who lost jobs in 2009, rebuilding confidence may be the biggest challenge.

"The past year was a difficult one for many people, but the employment market shows signs of improvement," Bolt said. "Whether employed or conducting a job search, professionals should take steps to enhance their marketability and better position themselves for advancement opportunities."

Bolt offers the following 10 career-related resolutions for 2010:

  1. Play 'internal' auditor. Everyone's heard that it's a good idea to take an objective look at your skills and identify your strengths and weaknesses, but surprisingly few do so. Take some time to sit down and jot down areas where you think you could really improve in 2010.
  2. Learn something new. Pursue a certification, become proficient with a new software program or take a course to enhance your skill set. The key is to continually broaden your expertise.
  3. Grow your network. Join a professional association or online network, or consider working with a specialized staffing firm in your job search. These contacts can provide valuable career guidance as well as keen insights on trends impacting your field and business.
  4. Pay it forward. Networking is as much about helping others as asking for help. Offer to be a reference for a former colleague or provide resume advice for a friend. In the process, you'll strengthen your relationships and build goodwill.
  5. Be a better coworker. Volunteer to help colleagues who may be overburdened and look for ways you can improve office morale, such as praising others' achievements. In the process, you'll establish yourself as a trusted resource at your firm.
  6. Brush off your resume. You never know when a new opportunity might come along, so it's best to be prepared. Updating your resume also helps you mentally crystallize what you bring to your current job, especially how you are helping your firm weather the recession and prepare for growth -- good things to have at the tip of your tongue at review time.
  7. Build your people skills. An Accountemps survey found that interpersonal skills often are the factor that can tip the scale in a candidate's favour. Work with a mentor who can help you identify your strengths and those skills needing improvement.
  8. Don't be a wallflower. Offer to take on projects beyond your job description and participate in or even lead cross-departmental teams. The exposure you gain to different functions and colleagues within your organization will enhance your professional marketability and the value you bring to your employer.
  9. Reward yourself. As you reach milestones in your career or job search, take the opportunity to acknowledge your success. Making time to go to a favourite restaurant or read a new book can go a long way toward keeping you motivated and ready to tackle new challenges.
  10. Stay positive. Employers want to work with people who maintain their poise, no matter how difficult things become. Use levity when appropriate to build rapport with your colleagues and ease tensions that arise. You'll distinguish yourself by persevering and motivating others to perform at higher levels.

 Accountemps has more than 360 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.

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