shutterstock_236122663Each new year offers a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the new one. And this year is no exception. With the economy continuing to improve, more people are likely to seek career improvement in 2015.

As I reflected back on clients who were successful in making career improvements in 2014, a few specific ones come to mind….

In January, 2014, my post titled New Year’s Resolution: Quit My Job mentioned the President of a $300 million division. Although meeting 100% of his performance objectives and making over $400K, he felt that he could never make his boss happy. He engaged me to assist with his proactive search for a new job. Within a few weeks, he negotiated an amicable separation agreement that provided several months of severance. Ten weeks later, he landed a comparable position in a new company and collected double pay for quite a few months. This is a good example of what many high performers do. They take action early and typically are rewarded for their proactive efforts.

In a subsequent post titled LinkedIn: Improve Your Visibility, Credibility, and Connect-Ability, I provided several suggestions for leveraging this power online system. A little later in the year, I was asked to assist a VP of Sales for a Fortune100 company with strategic LinkedIn and resume improvements. Within three weeks of completion, the VP reported being approached more frequently by recruiters with jobs that were more satisfying. His actions multiplied his options through increasing his LinkedIn visibility and credibility.

Later, my post titled What Good Networkers Do… and Don’t Do mentioned a former client whom I had supported in making a transition from being a bank loan officer to starting his own consulting company serving small business owners. I outlined six networking actions taken during our meeting together and contrasted it with the stereotypical actions that unemployed job seeker inflict on their “networking” prey. Because my former client worked hard to become an excellent networker, he was able to exceed his corporate income quickly and build a sustainable business that was continuing to grow five years later.

Still later, in Seven Reasons Your Employer is Hurting Your Career, I referenced two dissatisfied employees of an Atlanta Fortune500 company. One of them chose to work with me to improve his career situation. We assessed organizational needs, defined a new role that would be a promotion, and developed his strategy for “selling” the concept of creating the new position for him. Within a few short months, as noted in How to Create Your Next Great Career Opportunity, he had been promoted and received a notable pay increase. By taking control rather than sitting passively in a role that satisfied his employer but not him, he was able to avoid letting his employer limit his options and income.

And later, in Five Reasons Your Profession Is Hurting Your Career, I mentioned my own career enhancing professional changes, from engineering to HR to marketing to sales. When a client from several years ago called me last week to wish me a Happy New Year, it reminded me how he had likewise made positive professional changes … from VP of Sales of one company to President of a similarly sized company. He resisted being typecast into a life in sales management and opened himself up to top leadership in additional companies.

Wrapping up the year, I challenged career seekers in New Year’s Resolution: Get a Coach? to consider subscribing to the adage “two heads are better than one.” With client after client, I work with people who have little idea how to plan and execute their career changes. The benefits are obvious, such as was written in one of my LinkedIn recommendations who said:

“Having worked with Richard on many executive issues, I have come to deeply respect his insights. His strategy not only had a positive impact that helped land a new position but is something I use on a weekly if not daily basis.”

Can you relate to any of these typical career seekers? I hope so! I encourage you to follow their examples and take positive steps to create the new career you want in the new year. Don’t wait. Start taking action now to make it a truly happy new year!