Was 2017 a bit of a sleeper for you? Lots of change and fresh beginnings going on around you, yet you’re still stuck in a bit of a rut? For many, the end of the year is a reminder of all of the career accomplishments that have been achieved, deals that have been successfully closed and exciting projects completed. For others, however, the year is ending without much to brag about.

You have managed to hang onto a mediocre job and pay off a few debts here and there, yet you are lacking the drive to truly get excited about your work. How can you give your career a jolt and look forward to the year ahead? How can you make 2018 the year that will forever change your life and your perspective?

The initial step in assessing your level of career satisfaction is to make a list. Whether making a mental note or literally picking up an ink pen, it is best to start by thinking through the parts of your job that you love and the parts that annoy you to no end. As you consider this list of pros and cons, you can decide which elements are within your control and which elements are not. There are some factors about our job that frustrate us yet can easily be changed with just a few tweaks here and there. We forget the power that we sometimes have within our own grasp.

Other elements, however, are truly beyond our reach, and we sometimes have to start fresh with a plan for our future if we want to find joy in what we do. Is it time to look for a new job? Do you want to stay put or relocate to a new city? Are you considering switching to a whole new career?

Regardless of what your vision looks like for the new year ahead, it’s the perfect time to revisit your portfolio and put your best foot forward. When is the last time that you updated your resume? Do you have multiple ideas for cover letters to work with? Is your list of references a current and thorough representation of your professional relationships?

With your career on the line, there is no such thing as being overprepared. Make it a priority to set time aside to settle in with a fresh cup of coffee and make a tangible plan for the year ahead. Rediscover what you love about your work and make choices that build a strong foundation for that love. Your career will forever thank you!

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2017-12-31T21:44:40+00:00