Given what happened in 2020, you might look at 2021 with significant anxiety. You’re excited about the new year, but still shell shocked by the previous 12 months. Don’t worry. Not only will 2021 be better than the previous year. You can make it the best year of your career. 

That’s a big goal to have. Still, you should head into every year with lofty ambitions. The key is having a plan to turn those dreams into a reality.  

How do you get that done? Here are five tips to make 2021 the best year of your career: 

Formulate a Career Vision 

You can bounce around your career like you’re stuck in a pinball machine. Or you can concentrate that momentum in one sustained direction. Which strategy seems more likely to lead to success? 

Your ability to advance increases dramatically when you know where you want to go. For that reason, it’s imperative that you formulate a career vision. If you don’t have an ultimate goal in mind right now, spend some time figuring one out. From there, you can decide the steps you need to take in 2021 to reach that objective. 

Understand Your Current Strengths and Weaknesses 

Think about what it takes to cook a delicious meal. Before you prepare anything, you have to know what ingredients you have. The same is true for whipping up career success. You have to ask yourself: what am I working with? 

This requires some honest introspection. Identify your best selling points and the areas that require further development. This will help you target the right jobs for you. At the same time, you can take steps to eliminate your weak spots. 

Expand Your Network 

Networking is crucial for driving your career forward. Some studies indicate that up to 85% of jobs come through contacts with other people. If you don’t have a long enough list of professional connections, you’re just fighting for that remaining 15%. 

Dedicate the next 12 months to making your network as strong as possible. Get in touch with former coworkers and supervisors. Commiserate with them about how crummy 2020 was and ask them about their plans for 2021. Take to social media to find new potential connections.  

Learn New Skills 

You want to get the most out of every moment. More than that, you want the decisions you make in 2021 to resonate throughout the rest of your career. That way, you don’t just create one good year…you set the stage for significant development to come. 

Learning a new skill will accomplish this goal. The capabilities you develop will make you more valuable and set you up for long-term success. To do this, ask around at your current position for opportunities to take on new responsibilities. If that isn’t possible, look for classes or certifications that will complement your resume. 

Be Ready for a Big Leap 

Feeling penned in? Did 2020 seem like a setback? It might be time to break out of your routine. Consider making 2021 the year you took a significant leap forward in your career. 

Don’t be afraid to think big. Seek out bold steps you can take in order to reach your long-term goals. Avoid any reckless acts, of course. But consider audacious moves. 

Need help with a transition? A staffing firm can help. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can jumpstart your career development. 

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.  

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