Image courtesy of

By Khalilah Starks

Happy New Year! Today is the first official Monday of the year.  For many, it’s the first full week back at work.  No matter how great or horrible 2012 was for you, you have the ability to make 2013 a great year.  So, to help you make it your best year ever, I’m giving you my list of “Must Do’s” for 2013.

  1. Get on LinkedIn Now. And, don’t just get on there.  Use it to its fullest capability.  You’re missing out on recruiters who are looking to hire you and great professional connections.  Take some time to learn the ins and outs of the site.  If you desire to take your career to the next level, networking is an absolute must.  Don’t skip over this important networking tool.
  2. Get Moving. This is hard.  I know.  But, for those of you who are working in an office where you sit all day, you really need to find a way to move your body.  In addition to a larger waist size, studies have found that people who sit more have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.  Walk to your colleague’s office instead of sending an email.  Get up and take a quick stroll through the office.  If you’re confined to your office or cubicle, stand up, march in place, wiggle it out, walk around the desk – just keep it moving! You need to move a few minutes every hour.  And lastly, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  3. Find a Side Hustle. Make it something fun, that you enjoy doing.  This is your second revenue stream.  Wealthy people have lots of revenue streams.  So, think rich in 2013.  Plus, we live in quite uncertain times.  The job that you have today could be gone tomorrow.  That side hustle can actually help you cover your expenses should you experience the unfortunate event of job loss.  And, you never know, that side hustle could become your primary hustle.  We tend to perform well at things that we enjoy.
  4. Connect in Real Life. Yes, get from behind that computer.  Technology is great.  It gives us the ability to expand our network and connect with lots of people in a much quicker timeframe.  However, as great as it is, it still has its limitations and should only be a segment of your networking strategy.  Attend some industry events.  Join some organizations and get active.  Volunteer for a cause that is near and dear to your heart.  Then you’ll be on your way to making some meaningful connections.
  5. Pay Attention to Your Brand. Whether you know it or not, you have a brand.  It’s how you project yourself to the world. Your wardrobe, how you speak, what you post online – it all builds an image of who you are.  And, this becomes your brand.  Your brand should be the best reflection of you.  Take some time to assess your online presence.  You can start by searching your name on Google.  Take a look at what you’ve posted on social media sites over the past year.  A great brand will open many doors and allow you to skip right through them.
  6. Get Social With Your Coworkers. Go to lunch with a group of your coworkers.  Attend that work function that you really don’t feel like attending.  Be social.  Studies show that workers who establish great relationships with coworkers outside of the office tend to be promoted more often.  Performance isn’t just about how well you do your job.  It’s also how well you get along with everyone and how well you are perceived at doing your job.  Perception is reality!
  7. Splurge On a Professional Resume. Unless you’ve got a great HR person or recruiter advising you along the way, you should at least have one professional resume written that you can update yourself.  I’ve tossed some pretty terrible resumes in the no pile.  These were applicants that could have been qualified for the job, but didn’t know how to sell their qualifications in a well written, aesthetically pleasing document.  Invest in You!
  8. Find and Follow Your Passion. This really should have been first on my list.  Resolve to make 2013 a year of passion.  This is truly the road to career happiness.  Finding your passion can be challenging.  But, with a little patience and self observation, you can do it.
  9. Pick Up the January 14th Issue of Jet magazine. It’s on your newsstands now.  Do this today! Why?  Because, I’m in it!  I’ve provided Jet with some great career advice that you’ll definitely want to check out.  🙂


Ask HPP: 4 Burning Questions about LinkedIn

Burst Your Bubble By Expanding Your Network Today!

Choosing the Right Career: Lessons From a 10 Year Old

5 Tips To Finding Your Career Passion

Are You Using Your Gifts?

Using Color To Unlock Your Career Passion

Video: Finding Your Passion