How to Boost Your Career in 2017

By James Mitchell

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With the New Year upon us, we make plans and promises to do all sorts of things, from losing weight to quitting smoking, and the majority of us break our resolutions before Valentine’s Day. This year, stick with a goal that is realistic and desirable: plan to boost your career in 2017. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started:


Improve Your Attitude

No, we don’t mean that you have a poor attitude or that you are the downer at work. What we do mean is that you can make a conscious effort to improve your attitude in positive ways to boost your career in 2017. Writer Long Yun Siang offers tips, tools and advice for young professionals, and he highlights the five career-boosting attitudes that can help you in your mission to get ahead--be enthusiastic, efficient, excellent, early, and easy:

  • Enthusiastic – Decide to be enthusiastic, approach your tasks with energy, and get more interested in your work in order to grow your enthusiasm.
  • Efficient – When you demonstrate that you work efficiently, it becomes clear that you are productive, capable, and competent.
  • Excellence – Do not settle for less than excellence, and you’ll soon be exceeding expectations and surpassing your colleagues.
  • Early – By starting early, you will be more productive, and you will show that you are a loyal and dedicated team member.
  • Easy – Be easy to work with, so that you are an enjoyable team member who does not complain, and you’ll gain a competitive advantage over employees who are difficult to work with.

 

Take Some Risks

Don’t do anything too rash or dramatic, but plan to take a risk or two to demonstrate your initiative to executives. If you typically sit quietly during meetings, speak up or ask a question. If you normally are a vocal team member, try offering a solution that may not be within your circle of concern, but be careful not to step on your coworkers’ or boss’ toes when you do so. Break out of your comfort zone at work to show that you are a go-getter, and you may just find that your efforts are rewarded with a career boost in 2017.
 

Ask Colleagues for Evaluations

If you are going to boost your career in 2017, you’ll need to have a complete evaluation of your work. This means asking colleagues for feedback, so that you can get honest information about your performance. It may be a nerve-racking idea, but getting peer feedback is one of the best ways to identify your areas of improvement so that you can better yourself and grow professionally. Then, you’ll be on the right path for a career boost. You’ll also show your bosses that you are able to handle constructive criticism and are dedicated to improving your work.
 

Work From Home

A Penn State study shows that telecommuting boosts productivity, performance, job satisfaction, and overall life satisfaction. Working from home also positively impacts relationships with supervisors and reduces turnover, stress, and work-family conflicts by giving employees more control over their work and schedules. If your workplace allows for telecommuting, take advantage of it. Or, take that risk and ask your boss if you can work from home one or two days a week, to start.

It’s also important to note that the rise of the sharing economy has made becoming your own boss easier than ever before. Even if it’s simply to make a little money on the side by dog boarding or dog walking with a service like Rover.com or taking on freelance writing or graphic design jobs from a site like Freelancer.com, taking advantage of the opportunities made available online can give you experience as an entrepreneur that will be impressive to future bosses or may even lead you into building your own successful business.
 

Network, Network, Network

If you are using LinkedIn to house contacts, you are not using it correctly. LinkedIn is one of the best tools you have at your disposal for boosting your career in 2017, as long as you use it correctly for networking. First, search your existing connections for those that are related to your field. When you send them messages, be sure to personalize them as much as possible and tell your connections how they can help you, and how you can help them. Use your connections to get an introduction to someone in their networks and then personalize your introductory message to leave a lasting, positive impression.

But, don’t leave networking to LinkedIn alone. Check out calendars for industry events, research local Meetups, and determine whether there are any local events or Open Houses. Attend events armed with business cards and meet as many people at the events as possible. Ask questions, demonstrate a willingness to learn, and emphasize your skills and qualifications in discussions. It wouldn’t hurt to adopt some of the positive attitudes we explored earlier, either.

There are several things you can start doing today to boost your career in 2017. No matter how you look at it, you have control over most of the strategies for boosting your own career; you just need to make minor changes, and you may be on your way to improving your career sooner than you thought.

 

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