3 Ways to Build a Successful New Year as a Business Professional

Did you have a great outcome in your job or career this year? If so, congratulate yourself! On the other hand, if the year fell short of your expectations, what could you have done differently? What’s more, how can you build a successful new year as a business professional in the coming year?

These are just a few of the questions you could be asking yourself.successful new year chapter one

A Successful New Year Starts with You!

Most often, we fail to consider that we have primary responsibility for our own career success.  We can’t offload that responsibility onto someone else–even if we would really like to!

On the other hand, the fact that success starts with you and not elsewhere allows you to envision unlimited possibilities. Then come back “down to earth” and figure out what you need to do to turn that vision into reality. It’s your “book,” and you have the opportunity to write the opening chapter!

On that note, I’d like to share a short quote from Fred Rogers: “It’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more important than what we are. Of course, it’s the opposite that’s true: What we are ultimately determines what we do!”

I view that as meaning your “Chapter One” should reflect who you are, not just what you do for a living.

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Job Search Plan–Who Needs One? (You Probably Do!)

Before I go into any of the essentials regarding a job search plan, I want to share this:

P: Prepare–it works much better than being caught short. Persist–avoid letting yourself get distracted from the goal.

L: Leave no stone unturned–consider all the key aspects of your job search plan. Learn what you need to take into account to tilt the odds in your favor.

A: Anticipate possible roadblocks and get a jump on them. Ask for help when you need it–pride does not help your job search.job search plan-ducks in row

N: Negotiate support from others with a vested interest in your career success. Never assume you’re ready for your job search or have done all you can until you confirm you have all your “ducks in a row.”

Job Search Plan or “No Plan”

I love using quotes in my writing when I can. My favorite websites for topical quotes include the Quotations Page and Goodreads. I took the quotes below from Goodreads.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln

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Achieve Career Success–It Can be Done

How can you achieve career success? It can be done–many people have succeeded in reaching their career goals, which proves it’s possible. That doesn’t mean you’ll find it easy. More than likely, you’ll discover it takes major, sustained effort.Stronger than you think

Doubt from others about your chances can throw up roadblocks to your success. On the other hand, self-doubt might prove to be your biggest “enemy.” In any case, you need to give yourself credit–you might have more ability than you or others think you do.

How You Achieve Career Success Depends on What It Means to You

Of course, you first need to decide what career success looks like to you. After all, not everyone holds the same view of it. For example, you might view success as moving up through the senior management ranks to a C-level position. Someone else could see it as earning enough money to buy a home, take care of family, or go on a restful vacation every year.

You won’t know whether you’ve achieved success until you know what it is. You can’t hit a target you can’t see!

Believe You Can Achieve It

Start by believing you can achieve career success, and you’ve won half the battle. Not all of it, but a good chunk. Whether you have supporters who will back you up or have to do it alone, work to convince yourself the prize is within reach.

You can achieve career successHow can you do that? Start by reviewing past, smaller successes and take time to celebrate them a bit. View them as building-blocks to reach your end-goal. Just as “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” career success takes time and effort. However, it’s worth doing.

Next, look at actions and results you took in your career path that did not turn out the way you’d hoped. You might find clues to what went wrong and use that knowledge to make better choices in the future.

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Quit Your Job without a New One?

If someone asked whether you would quit your job without a new one lined up, what would you respond? Most people would say the sensible answer is to snag a new position before you abandon your current one. In essence, you might find multiple reasons supporting that view and very few going against it.

I Quit! Now What?

Although throwing away a job you already have doesn’t usually make good sense, some people do it anyway. Why? Often it happens because you get fed up with conditions at work–maybe they’ve gone on too long or something has sparked too much frustration.I quit

So you erupt with anger, despair, or other negative emotions and submit your resignation effective now.

Then you do your best to deal with the fallout, which could include several actions more or less at the same time:

  • Get yourself out of the workplace as quickly and with as much dignity as you can.
  • Calm down upset loved ones–spouses, kids, and others.
  • Start looking for a new job.
  • Consult a coach or counselor to figure out why this all happened–and how to keep it from happening again.
  • Plan future job-related actions around a new “look before you leap” philosophy.

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Workplace Ageism–Can You Fight It and Win?

Workplace ageism in a job search and on the job can crop up in your experience unexpectedly. But it shouldn’t catch you by surprise when it appears! Instead, recognize that it occurs–all too frequently–and take steps to ensure you’re ready to handle it if needed. That doesn’t mean you peek around every corner to see if ageism lurks in wait for you! You just stay alert and prepared overall.

Workplace Ageism–What Are Your Odds?

workplace ageismSo can you fight workplace ageism and win? If you limit that question to legal action (suing an employer or potential employer for age discrimination), I would most likely say, “Rarely, if at all.”

As most people know, age discrimination can be hard to prove; sometimes it’s impossible. Not only that, but if you take an employer to court over it, you can find yourself viewed as a liability later.

On the other hand, consider the idea that fighting ageism doesn’t have to involve the courts. For instance, you might adopt a less confrontational approach, using more creative methods to gain the ground you’re after. The end result you’re aiming for matters more than how you pursue and achieve it.

What About Ageism Battles You Can’t Win?

No matter how stupid it is for companies to practice ageism, many do. Yes, the practice is shortsighted and narrow-minded, to name just a couple of its shortcomings. However, consider yourself lucky if you haven’t yet run into it. Sometimes, trying to fight it turns into a real no-win situation. You might succeed in a court case, for example, and end up wishing you hadn’t.

If a company is a lousy place to work, landing a job there against the odds doesn’t make it better. Discrimination in the company’s hiring practices can turn out to be only the tip of the ageism iceberg.older job seeker smiling

When a company is forced to hire you or kept from letting you go, the outcome usually ends badly. You need employers to want you urgently, to appreciate the talents and enthusiasm you can bring to them that have nothing to do with your age.

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Toxic Boss–Should You Quit & If So, How?

A toxic boss can make your work life a living nightmare! (If you have one, you already know this.) What’s more, they don’t always show their true colors until you decide to quit your job.

So the question is: If you find out you have a toxic boss, should you quit? If the answer is yes, how do you handle the situation?

Toxic Boss–or Not? Is It Time to Quit?

Just because your boss gives you grief now and then doesn’t mean he or she is a genuine toxic boss. In fact, anyone can have a bad day, even a bad week. After all, you probably experience that yourself at times, right?time to quit

Therefore, your first priority centers on deciding whether you have an actual toxic boss or merely one who flares up on occasion. What’s more, how big are those flare-ups? For example, does your boss scream, call you hateful names, rake you down in front of others?

If not, maybe you only need to have a heart-to-heart with your boss, in a professional manner (that is, without venting hurt feelings or anger).

toxic boss, quit or be firedOn the other hand, if your boss exhibits abusive behavior , you might face the  choice of “quit or be fired.” That’s not a great situation to find yourself in!

So what’s next?

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Recruiter Pet Peeves–Is Your Resume Guilty?

What’s the last thing you want in a job search? To have employers toss your resume aside as not worth their time. How can you get to first base with them if your resume turns them off? Hint: You need to avoid running afoul of recruiter pet peeves about the resumes they receive.

Worst Recruiter Pet Peeves about Resumes

According to a recent survey by Career Directors International, these resume slip-ups top the list of recruiter pet peeves:recruiter pet peeves wastebasket

  1. Mistakes: Unless you want your resume to land in the wastebasket, you need to have an error-free document. What’s more, making mistakes in your contact information will send your resume into a black hole!
  2. Not enough information: If your company isn’t a household name, include a brief identifier about it. By the same token, if you have a rare or confusing job title, add the more common title most people would recognize.
  3. Too long and general: Get to the point; make it clear and concise. Include specific details where a more general statement would give employers little to go on.

And More Pet Peeves

As if the above items weren’t enough, you also need to watch out for the following:

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Job Search Success: Give It Your Best!

If job search success is your goal, always give it your best! You might have personal challenges or just face roadblocks from employers’ automated hiring practices. Whatever the situation, put as much thought, energy, and time into your job search campaign as you can.

Job Search Success–Where Does It Start?Job search success start

As with most things worth having, attaining job search success depends hugely on what you put into it. Start with what you know you have to offer and can do to add value to employers. What’s more, refuse to sell yourself short, either in your own mind or in your interactions with potential employers. Self-confidence does not mean conceit or arrogance. It does mean you’re prepared to present yourself as a compelling candidate and to pursue your search with vigor.

In other words, don’t let barriers scare you off too soon or easily. Deal yourself as strong a hand as you can at the outset–and sustain your effort over the long haul as needed.

Blow Away Those Barriers to Job Search Success

Patience brings resultsThe idea of blowing the barriers out of your path might seem a bit ambitious. However, keep in mind that the effort you make now can lead to satisfying results down the road. Success doesn’t always make an instant appearance!

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