As you’re preparing for holiday travel and struggling to make it through the a string of holiday parties and happy hours, we suggest you take an hour or two to set yourself up for career success in 2018. Using our checklist below, you’ll be able to start 2018 on the right foot.
- Enumerate your achievements. Over the past year, you’ve done a lot! The end-of-year dead time in the office is an awesome time to enumerate it. How many new customers did you bring to the company over the past year? How many people did you manage? How many clients did you help? All of these are awesome ways to show solid achievements over the past year. Keep them in a file and use them in future salary negotiations or job applications.
- Update your resume. Those numbers are an awesome jump start for your next step: a resume update. We know it’s tough to go back and fully revise your resume, but there’s no time like the present to do it. A few simple pointers: Make sure the resume is one page. Highlight your most recent and relevant experience. No need to waste space putting Microsoft Word as a skill.
- Endorse a few peers on LinkedIn. We know it feels weird, but a little shine theory goes a long way! Endorse a few people you worked with over the past year for some skills on LinkedIn. They’ll likely return the favor. Endorsements look awesome to recruiters, and they’re a less conspicuous way to update your LinkedIn than a complete overhaul (which some employers take as a sign that you’re looking to move).
- Schedule one meeting with a mentor for January. You already read our guideto finding a mentor, right? Now is the time to set up a meeting - in January - with that helpful person. Be sure you have a few things to talk about. The project you’re currently working on (remember, a project can be anything from a side hustle to a minor life change. It doesn’t have to be huge) is an awesome conversation starter. But be sure to ask them about things they’re working on. Remember that their perspective of the world is invaluable, so buying them a drink or a coffee for taking the time to talk to you is a small way to say thank you.
- Set a smart out-of-office auto-reply email. This should be a no-brainer. It takes five minutes and gives you a pass for those few glorious end-of-year days when you’re not a slave to your email.
- Seek out one educational opportunity for January. Take the extra time you have during your break to pick a workshop, class or seminar to take in January. It doesn’t have to boost your career but it should enrich your life. Perhaps you want to learn a language. Now is the time to sign up for the class (to beat that New Years resolution rush). Want to learn how to invest? Our Betterment event is free and tickets are still available.
- Plan for your year ahead. This is where I endorse my very favorite professional (and life) development tool. Get Bullish founder Jen Dziura offers a “Design your 2018” workbook for $3.95 in her online store, and boy is it worth it. Print out the pages (maybe use your office printer before you leave?) and fill this baby out while you’re traveling or lazing around at home. Nothing has changed my career perspective more.
- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #33