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  • Career Planning and the Holidays

    Career Planning and the Holidays

    The holiday season is a great time to do some critical career planning for the following year. You will likely have some time off to reflect back on the year that is ending and make plans for the new one.


    Reflect back over the previous year and identify key accomplishments in both your work and personal life.

    Develop a set of ARM statements (Accomplishment Results Metrics) for each work accomplishment. Weave these statements into your LinkedIn profile and resume.

    Accomplishments in your personal life are critical. These are often the activities that feed your soul and make you a well rounded individual. Do any of these activities belong in your LinkedIn profile? Non-profit board position? Volunteering for a prominent cause in your community?

    Your career planning process should include both work and personal accomplishments.

    New Skills and Certifications

    What new skills have you acquired in the past year? Did you acquire a new certification or renew one?

    Update your LinkedIn profile and resume to reflect these new skills and certifications.

    As part of your career planning process, you will want to access the value of your new and current skills in your local market. Use LinkedIn advanced search using your skills as keywords to find others who have similar skills to see where they work. Has anything changed in your local market?

    Similarly, do the same assessment as it relates to your certification. Does your certification still hold value in your local market?

    It is critical in your career planning process to assess shifts in the market for the value of your skills and certifications annually!

    Target List

    An essential part of the career planning process is to review your target list of prospective employers twice a year. Have any new employers entered your local market? More and more companies are setting up satellite offices or allowing their employees to work virtually. Have there been any major upturns or downturns for companies on your target list? Do you need to remove any companies from your target list?

    Establish a plan for the next six months to regularly work your target list developing key relationships at these target companies. You never know when you will need to make a career pivot!


    Create goals for the next six months, this should include both work and personal goals. Make a calendar entry for early July of next year and document your goals there. If you are based in the United States, use the July 4th holiday for the date of the calendar entry.

    Even if you are employed, you should always be developing a plan for where you want to work next.

    Make career planning and career reflection a habit that will be performed like clockwork twice a year.

    I wish all of my readers a happy holiday season and a very prosperous new year!

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

    Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

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