If you made a big, career-related New Year's resolution this year, we're betting it's one of three things: finding a new job, getting a big promotion at your current company, or finally venturing out on your own.
Well, no matter what your goal, we're here to make it happen.
We'll start with getting that promotion. If you're aiming for a new job title and new responsibilities (and yes, a big new salary) in the new year, here's your action plan.
1. Make Sure You Know What Your Next Steps Are
Whether you've just had your annual review or not, the beginning of the year is a great time to get some clarity from your boss about what needs to happen for you to move to the next level. Ask for an informal review, let your boss know you're committed to advancing your career within the company, and make sure you have these five pieces of information.
2. Take on More Responsibility
The easiest way to show your boss you're ready for a lot more is to take on a little more—and nail it. So, spend some time this month thinking how you can take on more within your current role.
3. Do Some Internal Networking
That said, keeping your nose to the grindstone can actually be counterproductive when you're trying to get a promotion. Part of career advancement is about networking with the higher-ups and promoting yourself as a team player and leader within your organization—so make sure you make time for the water cooler.
4. Get the Skills You Need
When you're trying to show that you're ready for a promotion, getting some extra training or professional education can go a long way. Think about what skills might make you even more qualified for that next position, then look for tangible ways to gain them—such as taking a public speaking course, learning basic HTML, or going through your company's management training program.
5. Uncover What Your Boss Wants
In addition to these basics, there are likely a few other specific things your boss is looking for before she'll promote you. What are they? Every work place is a little different, but these 11 managers give some helpful insight.
6. Ask For It
When you've tackled all the steps above and you're confident you're ready for more, well, now's the time to go for it. Asking your boss for a promotion isn't easy—but remember, the payoff could be huge.
7. Ace the Internal Interview
Also remember that at many companies, you'll actually have to go through the interview process in order to get a promotion (and this is particularly true if you're changing departments). If that's the case, check out this guide to perfecting your internal interview.
Do you work for a small company, where the path to a promotion isn't so clear? Are you looking to get promoted from intern or assistant level? For further reading on these specific career advancement scenarios and more, check out these helpful articles:
Photo of woman working courtesy of Shutterstock.