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Career resolutions you must make for 2007

January 01, 2007 07:59 IST

Let's be honest. Getting a promotion at work is probably easier than losing 15 pounds. Each year we make seemingly impossible New Year's resolutions, like going to the gym three times per week or learning to speak Japanese. Instead of disappointing yourself, make career resolutions, which can be easily accomplished in bite-size portions.

First off, chew on this tip: Update your resume. That's especially important if you haven't included your latest career switch or promotion. You might not be looking for a new job, but one could come along unexpectedly. And when it does, you want to be able to hit "Send" on the e-mail, not procrastinate about updating the next line on your résumé.

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Second, assess your satisfaction level at work. Make a list of your responsibilities and be honest about how satisfied you are with them. Writing it out gives you a clear sense of where you stand. If you've got more "dissatisfied" than "satisfied" on your checklist, that updated resume might come in handy.

Then set goals for the year. Do you want to become a manager? Or do you want to switch careers entirely? "Stop procrastinating about your career desires," says Linda Ginac, CEO and founder of an Austin, Texas-based career services company. So many people say they want to change their career. There's always a "but," like 'I don't have the financial means to switch careers.' Get up and go make it happen this year."

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Next, join a professional association in your field. Not only does it enable you to stay up to date on developments in your field; it's also a way to network. Part of getting a new job--whether it's now or down the road--is through people you know.

Another key resolution: Take classes in skills you're lacking. Will it help your career to learn another language or a specific computer skill? They're easy to learn, by taking classes at a local community college. Plus, your company may even foot the bill.

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Also, if you don't have a mentor in your field, seek one out. It can be a professor from college or graduate school, or someone ahead of you at your company. Mentors are ideal for bouncing ideas off of, venting and career planning. They tend to be best if they're a bit older--and wiser--than you.

Remember, all work and no play is bad. You'll be much more productive at work if you take the time to exercise and join different types of organisations. They're great for recharging your battery and meeting wide varieties of people.

Finally, share what you know. Marleen Basile, a career counselor who works in Madison, Conn, and Tampa, Fla., encourages clients to help someone else with their career. If someone asks if he or she can do an informational interview with you, or if you know if there are positions within your company, talk to them. "You may be the key to another person's success," she says.

Who knows, maybe the 15 pounds will come off while you're doing all this career strategizing.

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Tara Weiss, Forbes