At the end of each year and the beginning of another, we all make resolutions regarding our life and career. Since 2017 is at our doorstep, we need to shed our old selves and create new and improved versions of ourselves. One way to do that is to build a better career out of our jobs. After all, if you love your job you never have to work a day in your life.

Don’t delay
Now’s the time – not next week, next month, or next year. You don’t want to miss out on this window of opportunity. You also need to move fast once you start moving toward your new career. Companies pay attention to how quickly you respond. They want to know you’re serious and swift action and detailed responses let them know that you are.

Update your portfolio
Conduct your own year-in-review and update your resume with all your accomplishments. Customize your resume to fit the job you’re going after. But it’s not enough to have just a resume anymore. You need something that helps you stand out from the crowd. Are you a welder? How about adding a video of you working your craft to your Facebook page? Do you follow the most current trends in the IT industry? Upload some interesting articles to your LinkedIn page. Create your own personal brand that you can be proud of and share it on your personal, professional and social networks.

Add career training and experience
As you take a look back, it’s also time to look forward. Consider any gaps you may have in your professional portfolio. Maybe a part time job in the field you want to enter will give just the added experience you need. Or could an advanced degree help you advance your career? Find the career training programme that’s right for you and enrol.

Conduct lots of research
From the field, to the company, to the position in the organization, perform thorough research so you know who you might work for and what you’ll do. Check out the people who could be your future colleagues on LinkedIn. And keep current with what’s going on in the industry so you’ll always be able to carry on an intelligent conversation, whether in an interview or at a party. After all, isn’t your career also your passion?

Access online resources
There are plenty of websites where you can find job listings, and even apply. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Monster can update you with jobs that match your search criteria. You can store your resume on their sites. And LinkedIn is great for networking and connecting to people and jobs! Just remember, if you apply online, you’ll want to be careful to beat the applicant tracking systems many companies use to separate worthy job candidates, from just run-of-the-mill. How will you stand out?
Ask yourself these few questions and jot down the answers.

1. What are you doing that people believe only you can do?
2. Who are you connecting with?
3. What do people say when they talk about you?
4. What are you afraid of?
5. What’s the scarce resource?
6. Who are you trying to change?
7. What does the change look like?
8. Would we miss your work if you stopped making it?
9. What do you stand for?
10. What contribution are you making?
Try these few steps for now and watch out for more career advice next year! Happy New Year and Happy Careers!