Top 5 Career Advice for 2016 and Beyond

Another year has drawn to a close, and you may find yourself in a bit of a career rut. You had hoped this would be your year to advance or to do something different in your work life. It’s all right if things didn’t work out as you had hoped.  The New Year is a perfect time to assess your current situation and make some concrete plans for reaching your job goals in 2016 and beyond. 

Developing a clear picture of what you want from your job can go a long way toward achieving success. Use the following career advice for the New Year as a guide for shaking things up in your life. 

Have a Clear Vision
You can’t do things differently if you haven’t decided what it is that you truly want. You know you’re unhappy in your current position, but you may not know what kind of work will fulfill you. Take some time to brainstorm some ideas of the kind of work you could see yourself doing even without a high salary. Make a list, and don’t give your ideas too much thought right away. Next, make another list of your strengths. In what areas do you excel? Consider both hard and soft skills. Hard skills refer to the kinds of technical or professional duties you perform on your job. Soft skills are related to your personality and character. Once your lists are completed, you can begin the process of evaluating them to see where your interests and your skill set intersect. You might see a strong link between your lists that can point you in the right direction. 

Consider All the Factors
Frequently, people focus on pay increases or fancy titles and may find themselves on the wrong track toward what would really satisfy them in their career pursuits. Try to open your mind to the kinds of job aspects that appeal to you and make you feel energized. Look back at your list if it helps. Consider other factors of your work life such as company culture, your preferred role as either a supervisor or employee and your desired work environment. For example, perhaps you’re displeased with your current position because you’re stuck sitting alone at a desk all day. If you’re an extrovert who gets energy from social interaction, a change in your work role that allows you to deal with customers or business associates could be just the thing you need. 

Be True to Yourself
Once you have your goals in view, it’s important to remain committed to them. There may be people who will criticize your plan or encourage you to stay where you are in life. It’s not unusual for people who are afraid to chase their own dreams to discourage others from moving forward. Such negativity may not be intentional on their part, but it can be tempting to let it distract you from your goals. In order to gain your focus, do some research on your intended career pursuits. Network, either online or in person, with people in your desired industry. Doing so can not only help to inspire and motivate you, it may also lead you toward opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise encounter. 

Learn from Past Mistakes
While looking ahead to all of the ways you can make changes in your career is exciting, you should also take a moment to reflect on things in the past that haven’t worked so well for you. Reflecting on mistakes can be difficult, but it’s an excellent way to gain insight on areas that need improvement. Working to improve upon your weaknesses is a crucial step toward success in whatever career avenue you pursue. 

Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Today’s workers are busier than ever. In our digital age, it’s easy to find yourself taking work home or answering company emails during your time off. You don’t want to get so caught up in your career pursuits that you neglect your leisure time. Overworking yourself is likely to lead to burnout. Allow yourself to have fun. Also, be sure to meet your health needs. Getting enough rest and eating well will give you the energy and mental clarity needed to perform your best.

Whether your career goals involve getting a new job, starting your own business or changing positions within your current company, following this advice will provide you with a jumpstart toward making them happen. Best of luck in all your pursuits for the new year!