Throughout the holiday season, everyone will be making wish lists. Between things we plan to give and things we’d like to receive, writing it all down is the best way to stay organized.
What about what you want for your career? Instead of writing a normal gift list this year, make a wish list for career. The items on your career wish list can be tangible things to make your life a little easier, but they don’t have to be. Include your short-term and long-term goals, as well.
Here are 11 items to help you get started on your very own career wish list:
1. New skills. Start with some new items to add to your resume. If there’s a skill you know will be useful in your industry you didn’t learn in school, add it to the list and make it your mission to learn that skill. Your own personal growth is in your hands.
2. Professional attire. On the tangible end of the spectrum, you may want to get some new professional clothes. Think about suits, ties, blazers, skirts, polishable shoes, button-up shirts, etc. These are especially important if you’re entering the interview stage of your job search, or if you’ve been hired by a company with a very professional dress code.
3. Business cards. It’s a really good idea for job seekers and employed professionals alike to have their own business cards. They are perfect for exchanging contact information after interviews and networking events. Include your name, email, phone number, website or social media, and a descriptor for people to remember who you are. For example, “Gen Y Career Expert and Content Marketing & Digital PR.”
4. People you’d like to meet. Your list might also include the names of people you’ve been wanting to reach out to for advice. Once they’re on your list, make it your mission to reach out to them on LinkedIn or in some other way. Introduce yourself and ask them if they can make some time to speak with you.
5. A mentor. You may want to push one of those relationships even further by finding someone to be your career mentor. A mentor will help you be a lot more successful in your career and can be your go-to person. When you find someone who agrees to mentor you, be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity.
6. A nice portfolio. Going back to the tangible, you might want to add a nice, well-made portfolio to your list. A portfolio is something you can bring to job interviews to store your resumes and work samples, and take notes. There are some really nice leather portfolios out there. Investing in one of these can boost your confidence and your professional appearance.
7. Professional website. If a portfolio you carry with you is not your style, a professional website could be your replacement. Create your own website with a resume, digital portfolio, and even a blog. A website makes you much more visible to hiring managers.
8. Companies. If you have a few companies where you know you’d love to work, add them to your wish list. Find these companies’ career pages and monitor them regularly for openings that fit your qualifications.
9. Jobs and internships. Write down potential jobs and internships for which you’d like to apply. Keep track of the job descriptions and important links for easy retrieval when you have time to fill out the applications.
10. Volunteer opportunities. If volunteering is important to you, write in some opportunities you’d like to pursue. Whether it’s specific organizations or a general cause, writing it down will remind you to stop putting it off and start volunteering.
11. Role models. While some professionals might be out of reach from a networking perspective, you still might write down a list of successful professionals you admire. You can follow these people in the news and social media to see how they got to where they are and what they’re doing to improve your industry.
Your career wish list will be unique to you, but these suggestions should get you started. Think about your short and long-term goals and use this list to make sure you pursue them. If you constantly maintain and update your list, you will have your own personal road map for your career. So use the holiday spirit to get started right now!
What items would you include in your career wish list?