2014 is fast approaching and we are going to get all kinds of forecasts coming to us in the news. HERE is one from a group of economists (Aren’t they all) predicting a year of steady but slow growth. We have been out of the Great Recession for five years. Really? I haven’t seen it and I still speak to people who are worried about their jobs or haven’t fully recovered.
And any growth projected has to be hedged with concerns of Washington and what is going on up there. The instability overseas in about all areas of the map may also have a huge effect on the US. Again, like last year, buckle up it may get wild.
But that is macroeconomics–big picture. How about in my house, what can I do? There are some steps I would suggest to make 2014 a better year for you and your career.
First, get away from the TV. This is an election year and the mud will be flying. The parties can’t even get along with themselves on things that will help the country. They are really going to be slinging it to get reelected. And the trend for political advertising has been getting higher and higher.
Second, check your qualifications on education and certifications. Make sure you have what you need. Having 75% of the qualifications that a company is looking for on your resume isn’t good enough anymore. The competition has gotten tougher. Make sure you measure up.
I am currently working on a resume writing certification. It is not easy and other things keep coming up. But I just have to keep it a priority and keep in mind why I decided to do it in the first place.
Training classes are a great way to broaden your network. That would be part of my deciding what classes to take, who will be in it.
Third, reach out to your network. Have you contacted every one of your LinkedIn and FaceBook connections this year? All you have to do is say hi. In person would be best. The holidays make connecting and meeting with people much easier.
Also, is there anyone you need to meet? Take the initiative to make the opportunity happen.
Fourth, check your budget. (Tim, have you lost your mind? A budget, really?) Well at least get a grip on your expenditures. Are there any expenses that you can cut back on, even temporarily? This will help lessen the fear and desperation you/I often feel when the bills are too close or I fall behind. It is easier to have confidence when you are not struggling to stay afloat.
And last, research the next step you want to take in your career. I have worked mainly with people who had this choice to change jobs forced upon them. There are jobs out there and will be next year. Determine what job you would like to do and then make the moves that are necessary to get there. It may be with your current company. If so, start taking on new roles to get the experience and show the managers your abilities to do the new job. Who knows, they may be currently looking for someone.
As always, your career is in your hands. There will be some bumps in the road, are you prepared for them? But make your career development a priority. You may be surprised where you end up.