• Dr. Sharon Livingston


While it is the holiday season and time to relax from work, it’s a good idea to have your goals and dreams for the New Year in the back of your mind to help you feel excited and secure about what’s ahead.

Here are 7 Career Resolutions to make for 2019 1. UPGRADE YOUR RESUME: Make sure your resume/bio is up to date and ready to go, when an opportunity presents itself. According to a recent Monster poll, 8% of U.S. respondents can’t remember the last time they looked at their resume.

It’s important to make it a habit to refresh your resume regularly.  How often? Monster career expert Vicki Salemi says, “You should update your resume every six to 12 months to add new skills and experiences.”

40% of respondents in the poll stop working on their resumes and CV’s once they're employed, which means they’re not ready to rally if a new dream opportunity suddenly presents itself.  If that sounds familiar, you need an updated resume.  At Future Proof, we recommend  reviewing every 6 months to be a top contender when opportunity knocks. 2. CREATE/REVIEW YOUR CAREER PLAN -  Identify your Career Possibilities and Revisit Them to Make Sure You’re on Track Do you know your career options? Develop a refined list of career choices by examining your strengths, interests, skills, and needs.  You can do this  through self-assessment.  What are your key strengths and skills? And how do they line up with your interests? What's most important to you – intellectually, creatively, emotionally, the best environment for you, salary, corporate culture. It’s critical to know what matters to you -- and what's a deal-breaker. 

Narrow your career options by reviewing career information, researching companies, and talking to professionals in those fields.

It’s important to be realistic about expectations and timelines. Write down specific action steps to take to achieve your goals and help yourself stay organized. Check them off as you complete them, but feel free to amend your career action plan as needed. Your goals and priorities may change, and that's perfectly fine.

Set "SMART" Goals. Now that you’ve identified your career options, develop an action plan to implement this decision. Identify specific, time-bound goals and steps to accomplish your plan. Set short-term goals (to be achieved in one year or less) and long-term goals (to be achieved in one to five years).

Specific -- Identify your goal clearly and specifically. Measurable -- Include clear criteria to determine progress and accomplishment. Attainable -- The goal should have a 50 percent or greater chance of success. Relevant -- The goal is important and relevant to you. Time bound -- Commit to a specific timeframe.  3. DEVELOP A NEW SKILL [OR TWO] When was the last time you worked on your professional development skills? 

In considering your career goal[s], what skill might help you present better on an interview and actually help you perform better on the job?  Learning new skills will help you stay engaged and open the door to new projects and opportunities, whether at your current employer or a new one.   

It’s easier than you think.  sign up for an online course, attend a seminar, or shadow a more seasoned colleague or mentor at work and see what you pick up on. 4. LEARN HOW TO BE A BETTER LEADER – even if that’s not part of your job title or responsibility Whether you're the boss, a project manager, or a regular employee who occasionally gets called upon to step up, the more effective and responsive you are as a leader, the better it will further your career.  How might you enhance your leadership capabilities?

Enhance your listening skills so you can read people better.   That often means reading between the lines of both verbal and non-verbal cues. 

Develop your communication skills so you can be clear and efficient, while being open and responsive to your audience, even if it’s an audience of one. 5. TAKE A CHANCE Risk stepping outside your comfort zone.  Not only will it bring you in touch with new possibilities and career opportunities, but the positive “stress” of trying something new will add a little excitement to your work that will make it more fun as your challenged to try something new.

Be creative.  In 2019 let’s all take a few calculated risks.  You might suggest a change in the way your company runs, or present a fresh campaign that's so different from what they have always done, it might work and enliven your marketing. 6. REMEMBER TO STAY CONNECTED WITH OTHERS IN AND AROUND YOUR FIELD Sometimes we get so caught up in our work that we forget to reach out to old friends, colleagues or some new people we might have met at a business conference.  Making contact with those in your social and business ecosphere are critical.  Being in touch with the right people could help you jump on new opportunities that boost not your only income but your level of job-related satisfaction, so make an effort to meet up with your contacts once every few months for lunch, coffee, or the occasional sporting event. And if there's really no time for that, at least email them every so often. 7. SUPPORT THOSE AROUND YOU Whether you're a manager or part of a team, the support you give the folks you work with could help them be more content and successful in the coming year. It's never a bad thing to commit to giving more of yourself, whether that means stepping in to help when your colleagues are loaded down with deadlines or volunteering to take over a presentation so your coworker with a fear of public speaking doesn't have to. The more supportive you are, the more others will step in and help you in return. AND, you’ll feel the satisfaction that comes with helping others. The beginning of a new calendar year is the perfect time to resolve to get the career of your dreams and take steps to bring it to life. If you need help with any or all of these steps, we’re here to help. 

Wishing you the most successful year yet!

Sharon Livingston, PhD -President Future Proof