New years resolutions can help your career

The New Year is coming up fast. If you're like most people, the year ahead may make you a little uneasy; white collar layoffs, reorganizing, companies going out of business... Here are some New Year's Resolutions that will strengthen your position inside your company and prepare you if you need to market yourself to other employers:

·        Expand your network inside your company. Target key departments that are growing and getting internal resources. Make it a point to lunch with and meet people from these key areas to get yourself known and find out if there are any opportunities worth exploring.

·        Expand your network outside your company. If you aren't a member of several professional organizations, consider joining a few. Become active and visible; it could pay off big if you need to look for a job in the new year.

·        Volunteer for a company-wide committee or event. If your company is looking for volunteers to run the picnic, lead a charity fund drive, or run a task force, raise your hand. It's important to become known as someone who wants to get involved and who reaches for more outside your job. It might also develop some new skills that will make you more marketable.

·        Develop a reputation as a constructive change-maker. Look for opportunities to make meaningful changes without ruffling feathers. Instead of complaining about a problem, suggest ways it could be solved and volunteer to work with others to make it happen. One of the most valued skills is the ability and willingness to make improvements.

·        Be a constructive team player. Organizations are embracing the idea that in order to be competitive they need to empower the workforce. People who have a good reputation for sharing power, involving others, coaching and developing people will be seen as the leaders of the future.

·        Stay technically proficient. Go back to school or take special training classes to keep your skills up-to-date. Look for new skills to learn that will make you more valuable in your field and in your company. Multi-skilled people are more valuable and flexible than people with only a few skills.

·        Act as if you were looking for a job, whether you want a new job or not. Stay abreast of what the market is like out there. Keep track of the kinds of qualifications that are being requested. If you don't have a degree, for example, and all the jobs in your field require it, perhaps you should consider going back to school.

·        Polish your verbal and writing skills. If you're like most people, you are buried in information. The people who can wade through the paper and electronic data and boil it down to a few clearly thought out points will be valued. The people at the top can't assimilate it all and need people at all levels who can break it down and present it, so that good decisions can be made.

·        Build your relationship with your boss. By communicating with your boss you will not only improve your own performance, you will stay abreast of any changes that might be coming.


Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
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