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Making New Career Habits and Resolutions Stick

Whether it's for New Years' or any other time of year, it takes discipline to change your behavior. Many people realize that new habits like attending more networking events or taking on special projects at work could help them get ahead in their careers. Yet the number of people who follow through with making real changes to their habits is much lower. In this job searching tip, we'll discuss steps you can take to make sure you achieve your goals.

WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN

No matter what your goals are, your first step should be to write them down. Writing your goals down gives you a chance to see them on something tangible, which makes them more real. It also gives you an opportunity to think through what you need to do to get to your objective. When writing your goals down, visualize where you want to be ultimately and write out the steps you would need to take to get there. For example, if you want to become the manager of your department, it might require that you improve your public speaking skills and that you get noticed by the higher-ups. Perhaps being able to participate in social activities like golf outside the workplace but with other important people in the office would help you get noticed.

If you're not sure how to get a position you want, you can always try asking someone who has the position already how they got it. This might require attending networking events or working your rolodex to find someone who can give you the information you need.

TAKE ACTION

Writing your goals down is a good first step. Then you need to take action! The sooner you take action, the better. Maybe it's enrolling in a class. Or signing up to attend the first networking event. Even if the action you take is small compared with all that needs to be done to achieve your goal, it will get you one step closer and psychologically make you feel more committed.

SET DEADLINES

If you simply resolve to make changes or achieve things but don't have any timeline set to your goals, you run the risk of getting lazy and procrastinating. Set up a plan with deadlines to reach on a regular, perhaps monthly, basis. Then make sure to update your plan if a deadline is missed so that the subsequent deadline doesn't become impossible to meet.

REWARD YOURSELF

Getting yourself to change behavior is hard - even if it's something you really want. When it comes to changing behaviors, it's helpful to think of yourself as a coach. A coach will push you hard when he knows you can do better. But if you work really hard and give 100%, he'll also reward you for a job well done. Any achievement plan should also include incentives and rewards. For example, if you hate public speaking but realize you have to improve your skills to get a better position, you might commit to treat yourself to ice cream whenever you deliver a speech for your public speaking class.

About the Author

Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.

Scott Brown