Career Resolutions for the New Year 2017

Career Expert: Jena E. Abernathy, Author – The Inequality Equalizer – Want It, Claim It, Own It – And Maximize Your Career Success 

As we approach the start of 2017, this is the time of year to get yourself motivated and to really think about how to turbo-charge your career and maximize your success over the next 12 months. Let’s get started…..Do’s  

  • Get Organized – Use the last two weeks of 2016 to clear off the clutter and empty your email to start the new year fresh and with a renewed purpose.
  • Reassess Your Career Vision – What is your ideal job? What do you really want to do from a passionate vocational stand-point?  This is not about the $$$$, this is really thinking about aligning your passion with your career and then strategize with a plan of how to get there or enlist help.  A fairy godmother is not going to grant your wishes, you have to create the blueprint and a plan of action to stay focused and make it happen.
  • Recommit to your Current Role – We all get in a “rut” at times – find a way to fall back “in like or love” with your current job. Focus on being the best, understand how your role contributes to the company, seek to understand your next career progression – having a keen understanding of a true career path can help re-energize your commitment.


  • Sharpen Your Toolkit –Your career tool kit should be focused upon:
  • LinkedIn Profile
  • Social Media – Follow Targeted Companies
  • Link with Alma Mater
  • Biographical Sketch
  • 60 Second Pitch
  • Resume
  • Professional email address/voicemail
  • Current References
  • Advance Your Networking
  • Connect with Recruiters within your industry
  • Practice Interviewing with a trusted friend


  • Join Career Networking Groups – Make it a point to get involved in professional groups relevant to your desired career match– Marketing, HR, specific local professional groups, alumni boards, on-line networking.

Consider joining – Working Women of Tampa Bay – great resources and programs available to reset your aspirations and achieve success on your own terms, whether in a company or as an entrepreneur.

  • Refresh Your Skills/Education – If you are considering going back to school for your degree or graduate degree, you need to be in the application process now to start in the Fall.

Community colleges, seminars, workshops all add to your value – keep track of all the certifications earned and document. Bosses love it when you take the initiative to enhance your skills and it makes you more marketable should you desire to go outside.

  • Consider Hiring a Career Coach and/or Image Consultant – Seek out a professional who can help you identify derailment and success factors to help you advance or to change-up your professional appearance.  These are the intangibles that you may not always recognize.  These professionals can give you the “self awareness” that can make or break your career.
  • Add to your Career Repertoire – Shadow Leaders, read advice books, listen to motivational sessions while on your way to work, watch on-line videos that will help inspire you and give further insights to practical tips that you can use to encourage and support you in your desired career goals.
  • Keep It Real – Moving ahead, getting the next promotion, scoring the big bucks can take time. Be open to new assignments, new possibilities and new challenges – dream big, act bold and go forward with your renewed plan of action.


  • Become complacent about your current role – figure out how to maximize your current role to find a new role within your current organization or outside. Don’t leave before you have a new opportunity.
  • Think a successful career just happens – You have to make it happen, you have to want it, claim it and own it – understand career strategies that allow you to control your own destiny, on your terms.
  • Be unprepared for job interviews, including within your own organization. Even though you may know all the players, it is important you demonstrate your willingness to go the extra step of learning all you can prior to the interview and keep it professional.
  • Allow Fear to detract from your goals – Fear can paralyze your willingness to take calculated risks – find ways to stay positive and the courage to take a chance on you. This is your career – maximize opportunity to maximize your success.

 Jena E. Abernathy is the Managing Partner/Chair of Board Services for Witt/Kieffer.  She is a noted author and career expert advising CEO’s and other C-suite executives, globally.