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How to Turn 3 Career Resolutions Into Reality

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Every year about this time many people begin making promises to themselves and others to create positive changes in their lives and careers. These resolutions run the gamut from dropping a few pounds to getting a new job.

You can find plenty of help where your physique is concerned, but here, let's focus on your career goals.

According to a recent survey of employees from the jobs and career community Glassdoor, 32 percent say that a pay raise is among their top work-related resolutions for 2013, while 2 percent admit their top work-related resolution for 2013 is to get their boss fired. Other notable resolutions included looking for a new job (23 percent of employees), improving their performance rating given by their supervisor (21 percent), and attending work-related training (16 percent).

Making resolutions is easy; putting them into action can prove to be more challenging. If you're ready to take action, read on for some helpful hints to achieve those career goals you've set for 2013.

1. Your Resolution: Get a Pay Raise

Your action plan: Prove your value. Before asking your boss for more money, make certain you actually deserve it. If you can't point to at least three facts proving your case, you've already lost. Your focus here should be to present evidence that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for your boss to deny your request. If possible, have proof available for him to preview during the meeting. Telling him you simply need more money is the wrong way to go about successfully getting more money. Using hard facts that prove your value to the company will net your desired results much easier.

Have you been instrumental in improving the company's revenue? Prove it. Did you make positive changes for your department? Prove it. Are professionals with your level of experience or expertise earning more at other companies? Prove it.

The point is, if you are unable to provide documentation to backup your request, don't be surprised by your supervisor's reluctance to grant it.

2. Your Resolution: Get a Promotion

Your action plan: Stretch and learn. Start by taking on responsibilities and duties associated with the position you desire. Get to know what is required of the person doing the job you want and make it your business to acquire those necessary skills and knowledge. Be willing to attend company-provided training, or take the initiative to strike out on your own to find educational and skill-building courses that make you the best possible candidate for the promotion. Examples abound of people who started at the lowest position in a company only to rise to a position of prominence by following this simple action plan. Find your inspiration by looking up a few of them and then do what they've done to get what you want.

3. Your Resolution: Find a New Career

Your action plan: Research, prepare, and network. Begin by investigating opportunities that interest you and find out what you need to qualify for them. This can mean anything from additional education to simply networking with those already in your desired field.

Whatever path you choose, bear in mind it is never a good idea to vacate your current position without securing a new one. Staying put in a job you may wish to leave will prevent you from accepting something less than you had hoped for out of sheer desperation. Looking into other career opportunities while still employed gives you a sense of confidence that will clearly shine through during the interview process.

Also, earning a regular paycheck while job hunting gives you the luxury of taking your time to seek out the best possible situation for your career goals. Without it, you may end up doing something you don't like just to keep a roof over your head and food on the table; in which case, you will wind up right back where you started.

Whatever your career resolutions happen to be for the new year, many resources are available to those who truly desire to make a significant change. Ultimately, you will have to be willing to put forth the effort if you want to avoid letting another year go by without accomplishing the greatness you know exists inside you.

Good luck with all of your career goals this year and for years to come.

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally.

Jacqui and her husband, "Sailor Rob," host a lively careers-focused blog at http://careertrend.net/blog.

Jacqui is a power Twitter user (@ValueIntoWords), listed on several "Best People to Follow" lists for job seekers.

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