Dear Matt: It’s 2014 and I want to make a New Year career resolutions wish list. Do you have any advice on how to do that?

Matt says: Creating a career resolutions list is a great idea because it means you will be making and documenting a plan — and that’s often te first step toward job success, says Stacy Klein Dahlin, a Workforce Specialist with the Minnesota WorkForce Center, Dakota County.

“The most successful job seekers are those who are proactive in their job search and who use a variety of techniques and strategies to reach their goal of landing that next job,” says Klein Dahlin.

One way to be proactive is by attending the WorkForce Center’s January Jump Start event. This free seminar takes place Thursday, January 23 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the West St. Paul WorkForce Center (1 Mendota Road West, West St. Paul, MN 55118-4764). Topics include “Surviving the Emotional Rollercoaster”, “The Hidden Job Market” and “Using Social Media in Your Job Search”. There will also be a Q & A session with a panel of local HR professionals and recruiters in the afternoon. Contact 651-554-5955 or for more information.

Can’t make the event? Kyle O’Keefe, Regional Vice President of Robert Half International ( offers this New Year resolution guide to get you started:

Resolution #1: Get a new job. Schedule time each week to revise your résumé, build your LinkedIn profile, research new job opportunities and set up meetings with business contacts, including a recruiter who specializes in your field. Reassess these goals monthly.

2: Enhance my marketability. Pursue a certification, learn new software or take a course. Consider pursuing a leadership role with an industry or professional association or volunteering with a nonprofit group.

3: Improve my work performance. Meet with your boss to identify areas for improvement and establish career objectives. Offer to take on a project outside your job description, and look for opportunities to help colleagues.

4: Get a promotion. Set up a meeting with your manager to discuss your career objectives and the ways in which you can bring more value to your firm.

5: Get a raise. Research salary trends ( to determine pay rates for someone in your position. Then present a business case to your supervisor for why you deserve a boost in pay or perks, such as a flexible schedule or extra vacation days.

6: Build my network. Join at least one professional association, and attend meetings regularly. At work, foster your internal network by joining cross-departmental teams and participating in companywide activities.


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