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Volunteering for a Healthier Life

Invest in Your Career in 2014

Over the last 6 or 7 years, we’ve seen the impact that the economy has had on the job market. At the height of the recession, unemployment rates were above 10% in many major U.S. cities. The economy is continuing to rebound, and just last week, the unemployment rate dropped to below 7%. The last few years have taught me that it is critical to take control of your career, especially in this economy. Let’s face it. Many employers have realized over the last few years that they could get just as much work done with a smaller headcount, and many of the jobs that were lost over the last few years may never return. How can you protect your job and thrive in this new environment? So here are some of my tips to invest in your career in 2014.

1) Join professional associations related to your field. In fact, not only are these good ways to stay informed of current trends in your industry, but this can also provide good networking opportunities. These connections can play a big part in helping you land your next opportunity.

2) Become your own mentor. In this information age, each of us has access to books, social media, podcasts, blogs, etc from any number of thought and industry leaders. Try to spend time each week taking advantage of these resources.

3) Prepare your own performance review. Think about the people you admire in your career. What are some of the key skills that they have that you strive for? Use this as an opportunity to strive to further development these skills and measure your performance monthly or quarterly.

4) Unleash your inner entrepreneur. Over the last few years, we’ve all learned that job security is in rare supply in this economy. If you have ever wanted to start your own business, now might be the time to begin laying the foundation. What’s your idea? What’s your business plan? Spend some time each week cultivating your idea.

I hope 2014 is your best professional year yet whether you are working hard for a promotion, planning a career move, or launching your own business. Let us know some of your career investment tips for 2014.

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