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As we begin another business year, I thought a good way to launch the 2016 version of Self Perspective would be to share a list of New Year’s Resolutions that, if we would only follow them, would produce great value in our careers.

  1. career brand management resolutionsI will treat my team — my subordinates, my peers and my superiors — with respect, and I will deliver value for my organization by executing effectively, producing the necessary results and always do the right thing, even when no one is looking.This should be a foundational pillar of any executive’s brand management plan.  You can be a good person, try hard and do the right thing, but if you do not produce the required results, your brand will be tarnished.
  2. I will write (or update) my Personal Career Vision Statement (PCVS).This PCVS, is a foundational pillar in the career brand management process.  It is, as I have written before, as necessary as an annual strategic business plan.  There is no excuse NOT to do this.  It will always be a work in progress.  Your objectives, like those of many corporations, will evolve.  There may be a dramatic change but operating without a plan will result in missed or wasted opportunities.
  3. I will devote time each week to building my professional network.Growth is an important part of business success.  It is critical to have a robust professional network that will produce value for your career.
  4. I will feed and weed my professional network.Feeding your network means you must provide content for your members.  The content may be news articles or essays from other sources, brief case management reviews of a successful program or idea, or it may be a blog post.  The important thing is to know who is in your network and then work to find content that adds value for their careers.This weeding directive of this resolution means that as you progress, older members of your network will retire and fade into the background.  All but a few will no longer add value to your network.  They must be replaced with fresh blood, peers and up-and-comers who will produce new energy and ideas for the group.  It also recognizes that some of your earlier career networking additions may not be adding value because their objectives are purely self-serving.  Eliminate those members of your network who are not productive.
  5. I will begin (or resume) keeping a career journal.This is a critical tool to build a successful career.  Top-rated executives in many industries said this routine was one of the most meaningful and rewarding habits.I have written on this numerous times.  It is worth reading and considering whether this process could add value in your life.

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  6. I will return telephone calls from recruiters.I am always amazed when members of my network, some of the same people who do not return my candidate networking calls, complain that recruiters never call them back.  Really?  This class of executives seems to think that when they NEED a recruiter to help them pursue a job is the best time to invest time in nurturing the relationship.  Bad decision.  Take the call, even if you are not interested in making a change and then introduce them to people in your network who might be interested, or who might know of someone who is.  THAT is how you build a relationship with a recruiter.  Invest your time.  Help them and they will, or the good will, return the favor.What You Should Know About Recruiters and Job Search Consultants
  7. I will respond to requests from members of my network.Smart networkers understand that their network will produce more long-term value if they develop a reputation for helping others.  I love the executives who like to trot out their personal motto of being a servant leader, yet they are the world’s worst in helping others in their network.  Yes, there are risks in making introductions so it is OK to ask the person requesting the introduction what they are trying to achieve.  If you do not know the person making the request, take a few moments and get to know them.  (This of course also speaks to the type of people in your network.  Get rid of those who may have a sketchy reputation).  There may be a few times you decide that you cannot, or should not, make the connection.  But, as a general rule, this is a beneficial practice.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous, healthy and rewarding 2016.