36 Top Experts on the Best Career Resolutions for 2017

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Every year we make New Year’s resolutions like “eat healthy” and “run five miles a week” and “volunteer,” things that are usually manageable until the middle of February. Wouldn’t it be great if they made it through the entire year!?

 

This year, instead of trying to make it to the gym every day, consider adding manageable actions to your list that will further your career and better your professional development. We asked top career experts for their advice for making career resolutions you’ll want to keep, here’s what they had to say:

 

“The one New Year’s resolution to make this year (and actually keep!) to benefit your professional development would be to become a better networker.  Nothing can advance your career faster than being a good networker.  So, in 2017, you should not only find and attend networking events that can further your career but you should also dedicate some time to hone your networking skills.  Being a great networker doesn't just happen – it must be practiced! Make 2017 the year that your networking efforts pay off!”

Jennifer Gefsky, Co-founder of Après

 

“Update your photo on LinkedIn. How old or outdated or appropriate is it for your current career stage? Recruiters (and I am one) still look at photos and we will jump over a profile that is without one or lacking a professional photo. That picture from a wedding 10 years ago isn't right for you now. Update using a true photographer or have a friend with a great camera take a bunch of shots and choose the best.”

Lora B. Poepping, President, Plum Coaching & Consulting

 

“The best thing you can do to benefit your career and professional development - is to help others within your networking sphere. To position yourself as The Go-To Candidate Everyone Wants on Their Team... 1) Introduce your contacts to key individuals you know who can help them, 2) Write a positive review about your contacts in social media, or 3) Offer to volunteer at your contacts' next extracurricular project.”
Grant Cooper, CARW, Founder & President, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

 

“Seek out a trusted 'partner in action' to help guide you in taking the first step towards your career goal, be it a career coach, professional mentor, etc. The one reason why people don't keep their resolutions is because they don't actually take the first step needed, or don't know how to get started. A resolution is useless without action!”

Vicki Aubin, Career Transition & Personal Branding Consultant, The Rockin' Career Coach


"My professional development resolution is to have a coffee or a peppermint mocha with extra whip with an industry idol—anyone I admire and want to emulate—once a month. I believe you can learn a lot more about a person over a cup of coffee than 100 webinars."

Kayla Kozan, Director of Marketing, Ideal

 

“Decide what you need to give yourself permission for this year to ensure you are not the barrier from meeting your goals. It may be you need to give yourself permission to try new things and fail. It may be to give yourself permission to put your needs first. It may be permission to speak up or permission to quiet your inner critic/self-doubt.”

Amy Wolfgang, Career/Leadership Coach & Owner, Wolfgang Career Coaching

 

“Focus---Know what your professional (career) goal for the coming year is, pick one relevant professional development experience (education, training, etc.), and make sure it can be accomplished within the year—or, worst case, break it into components and schedule the bulk of it for completion during the year. Then DO IT!”

Georgia Adamson, MRW / ACRW / CPRW / CJSS / CEIP, CEO, A Successful Career

 

“Know thyself. The more you know about what you naturally do well (vs. acquired skills), what you do to get in your own way (e.g., limiting beliefs), and what you truly desire (vs. what others expect), the better you will be able to find satisfaction and excellence in your work. This is when a job is more than a job, or even a career. It becomes a calling. Be willing to invest in this process (e.g., books, group programs, individual coaching).”

Carol Ross, Career Integration Coach, Carol Ross and Associates LLC

 

“Keep it simple. If you find the stories developing in your head, remind yourself you could be complicating things and look for a simple explanation. If you don't have one, ask for it, and don't overthink. Sometimes things are simpler than they seem.”
Tanya Ezekiel, CEO and Executive Coach, CareerCoach.com

 

“The career planning task that every individual should do ASAP is to assess the likelihood that their jobs will be automated out of existence. They can visit this site: Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine? input their field and job title, and look at the results. And if they conclude there's an uncomfortable likelihood their job will be automated, then they need to: identify a "safe" career pivot, develop the skills they need to make the change via on-the-job, online education sources, and more formal training and start job hunting to make the change.”
Donna Svei, Executive Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles, Retained Search, AvidCareerist.com

 

“Many professionals consider their professional development only in "crisis mode" instead of planning early (save costs, get good seats) and implementing sound career trajectory strategy. As much as possible, invest in development that leans toward your next career step with or without your boss's blessing or buy-in.”
Mark Anthony Dyson, Founder, The Voice of Job Seekers

 

“Whether you are looking for a job or seeking more professional satisfaction I highly recommend that you become an active member of a professional association. My clients have had many successes after actively participating in their respective trade associations because it has been the most effective way to meet people in their  field, make friends that share similar interests  and stay abreast of current developments in their field.”

Lynn Berger, Career Counselor and Coach

 

“The one New Year’s resolution I personally keep and that I advise my clients to keep is to find thought leaders in your industry – those you admire and aspire to be and then follow them on social media, read their blog posts, enroll in their online training programs or webinars so you can learn from the best. This is the greatest benefit to your professional development and it’s easy to keep because you enjoy following their work and learning from them.”

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, President/CEO, Great Resumes Fast

 

"Do one thing each day to further your professional development--whether that's reading an article or book chapter, having lunch with someone in your network, attending a professional event, or spending time to update your LinkedIn profile."

Mitchell Friedman, Ed.D., APR, Career Coach

 

"Establish your short and long-term career goals, and proactively identify the experience, skills, and professional development you'll need to achieve them."
Marty Weitzman, NCRW, IJCTC, RPBS, Managing Director, Gilbert Resumes

 

“The best gift a person can give themselves is to increase their emotional intelligence.  At a professional level, your ability to connect to others effectively will be the difference between a career with very little traction and one that moves like a rocket.  There are books and classes to take on the broader topic of emotional intelligence or you can hone in on such things as increasing your ability to influence, reading body language or communications.”

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, The Introvert Whisperer

 

“For more effective professional and leadership development, commit to carving out ‘strategic planning time’ each day. Take 10 to 15 minutes at either the beginning or end of each day to determine your important priorities and map out when you’ll work on them. Make this a new habit.”

Julie Cohen, PCC, Executive Coach and CEO, Work. Life. Leader.

 

"The most important thing you can do in 2017 is to enhance the presentation of your professional brand - both online and offline. Ensure that your Linkedin profile looks great and have your resume professionally written."
Irene McConnell, Professional Resume Writer, Arielle Careers

 

“Identify where you want your career to go next and that will help you decide which one thing would most help you get there. It might be learning a new skill, enrolling in a degree or certificate program, joining a professional association or taking a leadership role in one, speaking at a conference, blogging in your industry, writing a book, or something else. If you start with the end goal in mind, it makes it easier to prioritize and choose.”
Janet Scarborough Civitelli, Career and Leadership Coach, VocationVillage.com

 

“Show Initiative! Your employer loves it when you offer to take on new tasks, willingness to learn a new skill or suggest that you can make a process or system improvements. Be on the lookout for new ways you can contribute and help your company make money, save money or time and enhance productivity. Go to your boss and make suggestions first to be sure that is something the boss will value. Demonstrating this skill is a great way to be selected for the next promotion.”

Robin Ryan, Career Counselor & Bestselling Author of 60 Seconds & You’re Hired

 

“To love what you do. If your job doesn’t fill you with passion and excitement, and use your natural talents, then find one that does. Life is too short to wither away in a role you hate.”

Hannah Martin, Talented Ladies Club

 

“Improve your English! Nowadays you don’t need to go to great length to improve your English. With Ginger's Personal Trainer it’s really easy. You can set up personalized practice sessions based on your previous mistakes and practice till perfect!”

Malki Ehrlich, Ginger Software

 

“Professional development is a constant process that allows you to become more aware of your skills and knowledge in your field.  It’s an opportunity to examine the way you work and see what you are doing wrong so that you can improve. For this New Year’s resolution, come up with a realistic plan to develop your career. Write down your goals e.g. get a better job, or a promotion and identify the steps you need to take to get there.”

Koulla Raouna, Career Advisor, CareerAddict

 

“Become more organized. Getting organized will not only help create a more productive work environment, it will cut down on your stress and worry around deadlines/projects/tasks. Your desktop organization is also a direct reflection on how you manage your job; supervisors and executives will take notice!”

Kristen Gilbert, President, Evolution Coaching

 

“Track your contributions, ideas, and accomplishments! It’s easy to just keep a running record of projects, training, professional and volunteer contributions, awards, accolades, and compliments. The value? You’re prepared for a review, raise, promotion, or to take the bait when an exciting opportunity presents itself. Don’t wait until you NEED an updated resume to think of all you’ve done. Instead keep a record so that you are ready and can experience an ongoing sense of accomplishment by recognizing your value and contributions.”

Laura DeCarlo, President, Career Directors International (CDI)

 

“Our top 2017 NY resolution would be: Speak up! If you let a chance at a promotion or other recognition in your career get by because you were too intimidated to stake your claim for it, resolve in 2017 to recognize those opportunities—and be bold enough to go for them.”

Lisa McKale, Editor, Progressive Women’s Leadership

 

“Invest in yourself.  Ask yourself these three questions and then commit every week to investing your time, energy and focus to making it happen.  What's the next thing you want to learn?  Who inspires you?  Where do you ultimately want to go in your career (or at least the next stop on your career journey)? When you invest your time and energy every week in these three areas, your career will find its natural flow and become effortless.”

Sherri Thomas, Founder and President, Career Coaching 360

 

“I recommend setting aside a minimum of 1-3% of your annual salary to invest in your own professional development. You could take an advanced level course, attend a conference, work with a business coach, earn a certification, or begin work toward an advanced degree. My investing 1-3% of your own money toward professional development, it increases your value to your current employer and to other potential new employers.”
Beth Colley, Owner, Chesapeake Career Management Services

 

“Pick four things, one a quarter, to learn during the year that are related, but outside of your current profession. This will allow you to market yourself and build industry authority. Opportunities presented to you that you didn’t even know were possible or available! Regardless of the route that you take, never lose confidence in yourself, stay true to your goals and most of all - be happy.”

Kris Fannin, CEO & Founder, Intelivate

 

“Work on your emotional intelligence and awareness. Join a program, hire a coach or have an accountability buddy to help you grow into more of who you are not just in what you do for a living but in how you BE more of who you are and how you bring your strengths to your work and your life, find out where your edge is in your own growth and live there for a while.”

Katie B. Smith, Executive & Career Coach, Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

 

“One of the best resolutions a professional can make this year is: I will be a subject matter expert in my space. Businesses and industries are moving quicker than ever. It’s crucial for professionals to stay tapped into changes, innovations and trends in order to stay relevant and credible.”

Jim Caporrimo, Regional Vice President, Adecco Staffing

 

“Resolve to join a support group for your career.  Life can away from us and a demanding dead-end job can limit the time we have to work on what's really important.  Having a monthly mastermind group to check-in on you and your ideal career goals, will not only give you direction but keep you moving forward with the proper attitude.”

Maggie Mistal, Life Purpose Career Coach

 

“In 2017 resolve to read one book a month. Reading is the fastest way to expand your frame-of-reference. You can read about leadership, or marketing, or technology, or history. Read a non-fiction book one month, and a fiction book the next. Many people limit their reading to non-fiction, business books. Adding fiction to your list will expose you to creative ways of thinking, different types of characters, amazing situations, and the human condition in all its forms. Readers are leaders. If you want to be a leader, open your mind through reading.”

Becky Berry, Head Coach, Becky Berry Career Coaching

 

“If you don’t have a plan, your calendar will control you. One of the biggest mistakes is just doing whatever comes your way instead of having exact times when you will do certain things in your week. Discipline and planning are required if you want to achieve your career goals. This is why I have a weekly review session where I review what I am doing each day of the next week and everything is scheduled into my calendar. This month, take control of your calendar and make it a calendar you love.”

Anna Runyan, Founder, ClassyCareerGirl

 

''Do your own career evaluation and set up goals for 2017. Write down your goals, ideas, milestones, courses etc. you want to take on for the year.''

Tomas Ondrejka, Co-Founder and CMO, Kickresume

 

“Do one hard thing, and get out of your comfort zone in a way that broadens your knowledge or experience. You might find that doing one hard thing leads to your doing other “hard things” that are both personally and professionally rewarding!”
Amy L. Adler, MBA, President, Five Strengths Career Transition Experts

 

Resolutions can be hard to keep, no matter what they are, because, you know; life happens. But making even just one of these resolutions can help you further your career now, and for years to come.



Last Updated: December 22, 2016
About the author

Cally Martin

Callan is a social media loving, blog writing, event planning freelancer who believes in the power of the oxford comma. Originally from America’s high-five (Michigan), she’s been in Austin since 2015 and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon. When not attached to WiFi, she can be found running around the lake or drinking mimosas at brunch.