Thanksgiving is over and December is almost here. If you haven’t already started thinking about 2018, you should start thinking about it now. After all, it will be here before you know it. (And if that’s an exaggeration, it’s not much of one.)
The good news is that the end of the year is an excellent time to take stock of your career. It’s also a great time to gear up for the New Year and make any adjustments you need to make in time for its beginning.
Below are five things for your career to-do list before the end of this year:
#1—Document what you did during the year.
What projects did you finish? Did you win any awards? Receive any recognition? These are all things that you should document, since they illustrate the value that you’ve brought to your current employer. Just as importantly, it illustrates the value that you could bring to a potential new employer, as well. Try to use data and statistics that quantify your accomplishments, since this is the most effective way to show your value.
#2—Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
Now that you’ve documented your achievements, make sure that you update both your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Don’t just update one and not the other. They both play a pivotal role in your career and in any job search that you might conduct. Neglecting one could prove detrimental to your efforts. Assume that a hiring manager will be looking at both of them, and when they do, they’ll expect them to match.
#3—Clean out your contacts and manage your references.
Contacts get cluttered over a year’s time, no matter the manner in which you choose to maintain them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a software program or if you still use index cards. There are probably contacts in there that don’t need to be in there. In addition, it’s also a good idea to reach out to your references, even if it’s only through email. Their endorsement of you could be valuable down the road. Make sure that you engage them in some meaningful way before the end of the year.
#4—Send holiday emails to select contacts.
This is one way to engage them! Sending out a mass holiday email is tricky, especially if you don’t clean out your contacts first. Not only that, but you might not know for sure which holidays which contacts celebrate. Sending the wrong email or the wrong message might offend them, which is pretty much the opposite of what you’re trying to do.
#5—Meet with your boss or supervisor.
The end of the year is always a good time to meet with your boss to discuss the past 12 months. And since you’ve documented all of your accomplishments, you can discuss those with them. Once again, this illustrates and emphasizes the value that you bring to the organization. And if it was a particularly good year for you, it might be an opportune time to bring up a raise. After all, if you’ve earned it, then you deserve it.
Bonus item: Align yourself with an experienced recruiting firm in your field. They could give you the edge you need in the marketplace in 2018. The Doepker Group can be that recruiting firm!