Use the Dog Days of Summer To Get Your New Year's Resolutions Back On Track

Use the Dog Days of Summer To Get Your New Year’s Resolutions Back On Track

Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services
Now that the dog days of summer are officially here, it’s time to relax, unwind, throw some burgers on the grill and take a much-

All days are dog days at Knock Em Dead –
meet Samantha, a former shelter dog who
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needed vacation. I’m completely in favor of that. But it also means the year is half-over. How are things going with the New Year’s resolutions you made for 2013? In addition to getting some R&R, this is the perfect time to evaluate your progress.

Here are some ideas you can ponder as you soak up the sun. These  seven ideas can change the trajectory of your life:
#1. I will take responsibility for my financial destiny
Make 2013 the year you replace blind loyalty to the corporation with enlightened self-interest. Yes, you will work hard and long for your employer, but never again will it be at the expense of what is best for your life. Make a commitment to learn the job search and career management strategies that will give you greater control of your professional and financial destiny.

#2. I will build on firm foundations
As a professional you are a bundle of skills and capabilities, and when you sell this bundle you are a selling a product or a commodity. Commit to the creation of killer marketing materials.

Your resume is the most financially important document you will ever own: when your resume works, you work; when it doesn’t, you don’t. It’s the primary marketing device that introduces you to the professional world and your customer base. Properly executed, it ensures that prospective employers and future colleagues see you, as you want to be seen. Cut corners with your resume and you cheat yourself of employment now and career success in the future.

#3. I will develop the career management tools needed to succeed
In a typical fifty-year work-life, where job changes occur about every four years, the most important professional skills you can develop are:

  • How to write a killer resume
  • How to get job interviews
  • How to turn job interviews into job offers
  • How to secure your job and win promotions
  • How to strategize career changes 

No one has ever told you to think of developing career management the skills as important to achieving long-term professional success in your life. But since job security has become a memory from another century, you can see that the effort expended in acquiring career management skills will be paid back exponentially throughout your working life. A successful career doesn’t just happen, but it still can happen when you develop these career success skills and continue to polish them over the years.

#4. I will connect to my profession
Most people don’t appreciate the importance of having a professional network—that is, until they are in a job search and realize they don’t have one. The lack of security in the new world of work makes professional connectivity a priority, not as a transitory demand of the job search, but as an ongoing career management responsibility. This job hunt is probably not your first and almost certainly won’t be your last, so it would be smart to commit time to learning a network-integrated approach to job search. Of course, this requires that you build and nurture a professional network.

When you connect to your professional it community means you are connecting with the most committed and best-connected people in your profession; that has to be worth a little ongoing time and effort when who you know can be so important in terms of successful career management, And when you join I hope that we can connect.

Anyone anywhere can join LinkedIn and become actively involved with the profession specific groups, increasing contacts, credibility and visibility. If you live in a metropolitan area, involvement in the local chapter of at least one professional association is the single best thing you can do for your career. 

#5. I will be prepared for future job searches
Capture and save all useful information about employers in your own job search database, so that when it comes time for job change again, you won’t have to start from scratch: A company that hires accountants this year will probably be hiring them every year.

Save the jobs you come across today, and information about the job sites they come from, and next time you’ll start with a job map showing a majority of companies in your target area that typically hire professionals like you. You’ll also have knowledge of the people they like to hire and given your professional connectivity, you will probably have people to contact immediately.

#6. I will protect my job and boost my employability
Changing technology constantly alters the skills you need to compete, and without current skills, you are being paid for abilities that will rapidly become obsolete. You need an ongoing program of skill development to keep you employable and desirable in the job market. 

One way to maximize your professional skills and protect your job at the same time starts with a conversation with your boss. Ask for her input for skills to develop and strategies to improve your performance. Implement his advice, and follow up informally every couple of months to share your commitment and progress. This informal follow-up keeps you visible to the people who can affect your future.

You’ll find that commitment to business imperatives, the common good, and consistent skill development will deliver you membership in the inner circle that exists in every department and company. This inner circle is where job security, plum assignments, raises, promotions all live. 

#7. I will invest time to bring my plans to life
The average American watches a shocking five hours of TV every night and spends countless more time fooling around on the computer. You can steal time to bring your plans to life by tuning out one thirty-minute sitcom or logging off of Facebook for just a half-hour each night. Replace self-indulgent activities with pursuits that lead to a more meaningful future, including development of the career management skills, as listed above, you will develop skills for success that you will use again and again throughout your professional career.

Implement these simple, practical career resolutions and you can change the trajectory of your professional life forever. Life can be what happens to you while you’re watching TV or surfing the net or it can be whatever you choose to make it when you take control and start making things happen. What not begin this summer?

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Martin Yate
Copyright 2013
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