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It’s a new year! Get your career in gear

A new year provides us all with an opportunity to start fresh, create new goals and reflect upon our accomplishments of the past year. Whether you are a job seeker, a stay at home parent looking to re-enter the workforce, or looking for a change, you are encouraged to gage where you are and where you want to be.

Today’s career landscape is characterized by constant change. Companies go in and out of markets quickly while the fluctuating economy forces companies to constrict their employment levels and new technology fuels gains in productivity. These and other factors contribute to a climate in which we are practically guaranteed to experience planned or unplanned changes in jobs and careers.

1. Perform a self-evaluation of your career. Ask yourself: Do I like this job? What do I get out of working? Does this job serve my needs? What do my employers get from my work? What skill sets have I developed? What skill sets do I want to further develop? Understanding where you are can aid your ability to prepare for and withstand change.

Maintaining a good personal and professional network is paramount to being prepared for change when it comes. If you are not comfortable with networking, make it a goal to improve your skills. There are many things in life we do not like to do but we do for our health. Bi-annual dental visits are not something we generally look forward to with glee; however, we go to avoid the consequences of not doing so. Like brushing your teeth to prevent decay, one must reach out and connect with people in all facets of your life to prevent isolation and lack of support when you need it most.

2. Evaluate Your Contacts. Review your personal, professional, and community connections. Make a list of 50 people from all areas of your life. Make sure that you have personal contacts that provide support and encouragement for where you are and seek to go. Working today requires that each of us is the master of our career. Where we work, how we work and what we are working on is our personal responsibility. Determine what you want and the actions you will take over the next year to experience success.

3. Set at least 2 Goals for 2018. What TWO things do you hope to accomplish in 2018? Create a professional and personal goal and make sure they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.

Looking for more? Western Alumni Career Management offers supports to alumni and is accessible online at

Sarah Dawson
Alumni Career Management

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