As the year winds down, many people are busy reflecting on 2013 and setting goals for 2014. The New Year is a great time for a fresh start even in an old career. Whether you’re looking for the ideal job or just want to get out of a job rut, planning and putting your focus in the right areas is crucial for success. If you want to advance your career in 2014, here are three areas you should focus on.
Reassess your career goals
Before setting 2014 goals, review your 2013 goals and your progress toward achieving them. Once you take stock of what you’ve already achieved, you can decide where you want to go and if your current goals will get you there. If you fell short of your goals in 2013, you can pick up where you left off in 2014 or maybe you want to abandon that goal for a new one. Perhaps a raise isn’t enough and you’d rather have a promotion. If you met your goals in 2013, it’s time to make new ones. Not all goals have to be around income or position. You can have goals around your personal achievements, receiving recognition, improving skill sets and other job-related areas.
Expand your network
Networking is one of the best ways to connect with resources that can help you improve your career prospects. In expanding your network, focus on quality connections over quantity. Connect with influencers, teachers and others that can lead you to resources that will help you achieve your career goals. But remember, networking isn’t just about you and your career. It’s also about how you can help others. As you seek new connections, share how you can bring value to them. Not only does this help others reach their goals, but also, they’re more likely to help you after having a positive experience with you.
Expand your knowledge and experience
It is said that knowledge is power. When it comes to advancing your career, the more you know about your industry, company, job duties and those you work with, the more you can use that knowledge to expand your career. Use your knowledge to be the best employee you can be and provide the best service you can to your employer. Reading books, attending trainings, seminars and conferences, and finding mentors are great ways to increase your knowledge. You can expand your experience by searching for opportunities to use your knowledge in the workplace.
Achieving career advancement goes beyond having the skills to do the job and showing up at work every day. Strive to be the best employee in your position by setting goals, seek out quality people to connect with and take advantage of opportunities to learn and do more. These efforts will not only increase your value at your current job, but also make you marketable should you decide to pursue a new job.