5 practical & potent professional resolutions

January 13, 2020
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notebook with "2020 New YEar's Resolutions" written on it with 5 numbers, next to a cup of coffee and a pen

Now that the stress of the holidays has worn off, it's time to build a plan of action for the resolutions and intentions you set for your career for the next decade before they get lost in the crush of the spring semester. You can find useful resources in AACRAO's Career Navigator.    

Here are five easy-to-keep resolutions that will help you grow professionally in the new year and the new decade.

1. Update your profiles. Recruiters often scope out candidates' social profiles before deciding on whom to offer the job. To advance your career, put your best foot forward on digital platforms. Use the new year as a catalyst for updating your LinkedIn account and social media profiles. While you're at it, update your resume so you're ready to apply should a new career opportunity present itself.

2. Expand your network. If you're looking to transform your career, one of the best resolutions you can make is to grow your professional network.

Listservs are a simple way to dip your toe into the network without a lot of commitment.  Lurk for a while, ask questions, or, better yet, share what you know by answering one.

The people you know can play a pivotal role in your career growth and development and your activities with AACRAO or your state and regional organization will expand your circle. You might meet the mentor you have been looking for or a connection that will bring you to your next position. Or perhaps you might be ready to mentor someone yourself.   

3. Volunteer. Joining a committee, a caucus, or even taking on a leadership role offers many personal and professional benefits. There are lots of opportunities to engage with AACRAO or your state of regional organization. It gives you additional skills, responsibilities, and accomplishments to add to your resume. It's a great opportunity to network with colleagues at other institutions and learn from their experiences. It deepens your relationships with colleagues in your field, often turning professional acquaintances into lifelong friends. 

4. Learn something new. Gaining new skills (or sharpening old ones) can enable you to take on new roles and responsibilities, or simply bring you greater confidence and satisfaction in your day to day work. The AACRAO Competencies and Proficiencies provide a framework for the requirements in our fields.  Assess yourself against the framework and use it as a guide to create a learning plan. Read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a webinar, take a course, attend a training, or go to a conference to enhance your knowledge. 

5. Make a plan. Whatever your career goals, make sure you have a plan. What do you want out of this next decade? What’s holding you back?

Resolve to think critically about the factors that are currently inhibiting your professional growth.  Brainstorm with a friend or colleague to get a new perspective on your challenges. Then develop a game plan for removing (or working around) each one.

Use this plan to make 2020 the year you chart a course for career transformation. 

New and interesting engagement opportunities are often shared via email to members.  Are you getting those emails?  Update your preferences to ensure you see the things you want to see.