Dear J.T. & Dale: I'd like to take your advice and do more networking, but I don't have much to work with. I haven't kept up with former co-workers, and among my friends and family, no one knows anything about my work or that I'm now unemployed. I believe in keeping my work and personal lives separate. — Rick J.T.: I need to be blunt, Rick: Work and personal lives are NOT separate. They are interdependent, even if you try to compartmentalize them. For instance, when we are unhappy at work, it affects our personal life. And being unemployed certainly affects your personal life, right? Dale: Well, there's much more of it, for one thing. Here's a quote from Richard Bolles in the classic book "What Color is Your Parachute?": "It takes about eighty pairs of eyes, and ears, to help find the career, the workplace, the job that you are looking for. Your contacts are those eighty eyes and ears." When your co-workers become "former co-workers," they move into a place somewhere between work and personal, putting them in a position to be your most valuable eyes on the job market. So, make the attempt to reconnect. LinkedIn and Facebook can help, as can good old Calling Around. Searching for one old co-worker is a good excuse to call all your former co-workers. But you don't really need an excuse. In this economy, people will not resent your contacting them out of the blue — you are also another contact for them, and anyone with any sense is collecting all they can. J.T.: As for your friends and family, I think it would be in your best interests to share with them what is going on. Not only could they add their eyes and ears to your search, but they could offer support that will keep your spirits up. Here, too, the line between your work and personal lives blurs: Stress can lead to a poor job search, and an inability to talk comfortably about your situation and what you're looking for can lead to failed interviews. Dale: Said another way: If you keep your job problems to yourself, you'll have more of them; and if you keep your unemployment a secret, you'll have more of it, too. Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Everyone has heard of New Year's resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about things we'll do better in the year ahead. Sometimes these resolutions work, while other times we end up with gym memberships we never use! But have you ever heard of a career resolution? It's actually the same thing as a New Year's resolution, only career-focused.
However, with something as important as a career, you don't want to break these resolutions. That's why it's important to keep these goals manageable.
Here are four simple career resolutions that are easy to stick to and achieve.
Be Self-Aware Of Where You Stand In Your CareerBigstock
Being honest and self-aware of where you are in your career is the most important step in making strong career resolutions. If your career is going nowhere and you're unhappy, then it may be time to consider a career change, which will take you down a different path entirely.
But if you're happy and in good standing with your career, it's a lot easier to set goals for the year and build out a long-term career plan.
Find A Way To Grow Your CareerBigstock
Career growth is a very broad spectrum that means something different to everyone. It could be something as simple as improving on a weakness or building on a strength. It could also be learning a new skill or taking on additional responsibilities at work.
On a larger level, it could be seeking a promotion or moving into a leadership role.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it includes growing professionally. The worst thing you can do is stay the same! If you're not growing your career, you're dying—and becoming a lot less valuable to your employer. There are always ways to upskill!
Better Serve Your Professional Network
With current colleagues, former colleagues, and other professional acquaintances, you've probably built a solid professional network through the years. A strong professional network can come in handy if you lose your job or are looking to make a career change. However, you shouldn't just rely on your network when you're in need!
It's important to find ways to offer value to your network. This could include checking in with members of your network from time to time. Exchange messages on LinkedIn to see how they're doing or share relevant content of interest. If you can help someone in your network going through a career challenge, you should!
Maintaining a strong professional network is like an investment. If you want it to pay off, you have to put some time into it and be consistent.
Take Care Of Yourself
Working on your career is hard work! It's okay to be selfish sometimes. Whether you're working to grow your career or looking for a new job, it's important to find balance.
Your family and health always come first, so make sure your career goals don't interfere with that. If you want to set aside time during the week to work on your career that's fine, but don't miss important family events or milestones.
Don't let your career goals get in the way of your health goals. Go to the gym, take a walk, or go for a jog. Balance is key to maintaining healthy career and life goals. Sometimes you just need to adjust that balance as you go.
Need help sticking to your career resolutions?
Become a member to learn how to UNLEASH your true potential to get what you want from work!
This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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