Forget about that New Year resolution to lose weight.

What you really need is a resolution to keep your job, say job placement experts who insist that 2012 will be a pivotal year.

This is the year that "Employers are definitely turning their attention toward retention and recruiting," said John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement employment giant Challenger, Gray and Christmas. 

While greater focus on employee retention is welcome news, employees shouldn’t relax.

 "Companies are concerned about losing talented workers, but they also know that the labor pool is full of willing and able candidates. So if you have a job, your workplace resolutions should be focused on keeping it as well as putting yourself in a position for a possible salary increase or promotion," Challenger said. "Those who want to keep or improve their positions in the new year are not going to do so by flying under the radar."

The problem is that no one knows for sure on which side of the economic sea-saw of employment they will land.
Recent employer surveys from manufacturing associations and the Federal Reserve Bank suggest employers are finally in the mood to hire. But economists say the European debt crisis, weak U.S. housing markets and government spending cuts could bring disaster to the jobs front.

So, job keepers and job hunters need to be resolute and aggressive, job coaches say.

For those looking to keep their jobs, Challenger offers these resolutions:

  • Seek more responsibility
  • Meet your boss's boss
  • Set deadlines for your resolutions
  • Join a company committee
  • Find or become a mentor
  • Align your career objectives with your company's goals
  • Find ways to save your company money
  • Become an expert on one aspect of your field.

Hope to nab a new job this year?
Here are resolution ideas from the state, business strategy firm Significant Solutions Inc. and Challenger, Gray and Christmas:

  • Remain positive
  • Join LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
  • Volunteer / Join a community service group
  • Join a professional trade association
  • Meet 10 new people in your field
  • Rev up your skills
  • Conduct mock interviews
  • Stay in touch. Send New Year’s cards to your contacts
  • Visit one of the state's 46 Minnesota Workforce Centers 

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