You may have resolved to not make any new year’s resolutions this year because they’re always so hard to keep. When it comes to your career, though, setting goals for the coming year – and sticking to them – is a must-do if you want to advance.
Here are four tips for getting ahead in your career in 2015:
1. Step out of your comfort zone
If you’ve been in the same role for some time, it can be easy to get comfortable, crossing items off of your to-do list but never really challenging yourself. To get ahead, take on assignments that stretch your current skills, help you gain new experience and get you in front of key players within your company.
2. Find a mentor
While your boss is hopefully your ally in day-to-day operations, another leader at your organization can serve as a mentor. Seek out someone who is well-established and respected – and isn’t necessarily someone you work with directly – to offer career guidance, advocate for you come review time and help navigate any office politics that may stand in the way of your advancement.
3. Follow industry news
To grow in your career, it’s not enough to know what’s going on within your company; you need to stay on top of what’s happening in your industry. Subscribe to industry newsletters and attend relevant conferences so you’re always up-to-speed on the latest news and breakthroughs impacting your business.
4. Speak up
If you want to position yourself as a leader, you need to contribute ideas instead of always following someone else’s direction. This means voicing your insights or opinions, even if they go against those of others on your team. Just make sure what you say is well thought out and adds to the conversation.
(USA today/Rosemary Haefner vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder)