A New Year; A New You


Obviously you’ll enter the new year the same person. But perhaps it’s time to update the way others see you professionally. You might not be looking for a job right now, confident that your current gig is safe. However, having and being able to present an updated perspective on your work history, accomplishments, personal and professional successes, is never a bad idea.


When was the last time you updated your resume? Even if you’re not looking for work right now, the future is unwritten and no matter how secure you feel in your position, all kinds of things can happen that could necessitate your needing to find a new job. Keeping your resume updated is one of those things that always takes a back seat to our other responsibilities and gets put off until it’s absolutely necessary. Why not give your job search documents a refresh, if only to update them and make sure they reflect where you are now in your career. Make certain they convey any – preferably relevant -new skills you’ve gained or improved, and promotions or accolades you may have received. If you recently moved or changed phone numbers or email addresses, don’t forget to update that information as well.


The beginning of the year is also a good time to commit to taking (better?) control of your electronic life. When was the last time you backed up all your important files to a different directory other than where things get ‘auto-saved? For most of us, our computers and electronic devices contain way too much that we don’t need or don’t use. The density of all that junk slows down our devices – all of them! Regular back-ups can save you a lot of hassles should one of them stop working correctly. Not all of our machines auto-save to the cloud, but there are a lot of free cloud storage tools available making it worth the effort!


It’s also time to make sure your email account(s) and contacts files are updated, and synched to your appropriate devices. Clean up your inboxes, delete information that is grossly out of date or irrelevant. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to find info when the junk is all gone.


What about your profiles on social networks? When was the last time you updated your bio and work details on LinkedIn or other networking site, or verified the accuracy of your references? Keeping your profile updated can improve your chances of being recognized for your skills and experience. The folks in the executive suites may not know all their employees by name and/or function, but it isn’t uncommon for them to find people to promote from within their own ranks, and keeping your networking details up to date allows them to check out your accomplishments when they need to fill a position. It is also where your current employer’s competition might look when trying to fill a hole in their roster (provided you haven’t signed any kind of non-compete agreement that would prevent you from working for the “other guy”).


And while you’re cleaning up your online profiles, maybe give some thought to a new profile picture. The casual and professional approach works well these days, so try to avoid selfies that don’t add anything positive to your image. In addition, make sure any links that are in your profile are current, as with all other relevant information about you.


When was the last time you checked on your retirement account? What retirement account? If you don’t have one, now would be a good time to start one, no matter your age or income level. There’s never anything wrong with putting money aside for the future. The pandemic made it difficult for many employers to provide the same level of benefits as they did prior to Covid; in many cases contributions shrank and some altogether disappeared. I encourage you to examine your pay stubs (electronic or paper) and verify what is going into and out of your accounts and see what, if anything has changed. If your employer has found it necessary to reduce their contribution, then it behooves you to find other ways to keep putting money aside, even if retirement seems like it’s a long way off.


Are there personal goals you’d like for yourself and your family in the coming year? Are you considering a nice vacation, wanting a new car, planning a home remodel project, getting married or planning a honeymoon, have offspring who are getting married, expecting a grandchild, or other major reason to spend? Even though banks are providing very little interest on your savings these days, consider opening a new, separate savings account where you can stash some money at regular intervals to aid in paying for that special expense. Ask your HR manager if you can designate a specific amount be taken from each paycheck to be directly deposited, that way you can’t spend it before it goes into your new account.


Being conscientious about this stuff is good practice all year long. In acting on these things you’re not making New Year’s Resolutions, you’re committing to practices that will make your life better! I know, we all have a lot on our plates, but these are all worthy of the time and effort! Truth!


May the New Year treat you well and find you healthy, happy, prosperous and filled with hope. You deserve nothing less!