A Career Check-up - It's time to give yourself a career check-up and make sure you're doing enough to invest in your future. Ask yourself pointed questions about what you did to enhance your worth or visibility last year. How many new people did you meet, and how many of them became part of your network? Did you join a new association or professional group? Talk with a headhunter?
If you're like most executives, it's likely that you made few networking contacts. And a U.S. economic activity is picking up and a new year is starting, making this a good time to recommit yourself to your career. "You need to get out of the mindset of being in survival mode," says Russ Jones, a principal of First Transitions, an Oak Brook, Ill., corporate-outplacement firm. "The economy is going to be better, and people need to lift their heads up and think, 'What can I do for my career?' To help with this process, we asked a panel of employers, recruiters, counselors and human-resources professionals what executives could do to revitalize their professional lives in the next 12 months. By applying their tips, which follow, you'll stand out more to your current employer or other companies.
Executives typically set concrete behavioral or operational career goals, such as gaining market share or meeting more clients, says Steven Berglas, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist who counsels top managers.