22 Feb 2016 18:47 IST

Have you made your career bucket list?

If not, here are top 10 points you can start off with to make the year count on the professional front

The New Year brings with it new beginnings and opportunities. So what if a month has already passed by? It is not too late to make your own career bucket list for this year.

While you may already have a few points in mind, you could also look for actionable insights that can be used in your list to gain headway in your career. Here is a compilation of the top 10 things you ought to try to make this year count on the professional front.

~~ What do you envisage for yourself in 2016?

Is there anything specific you’d like to happen this year? Looking to start your own company, or travelling abroad? Whether it is a personal desire or a professional goal, note it down on your list. You could perhaps couple this with working on your weak areas, so you can maintain a steady momentum of working towards your goal.

Once you’ve jotted them down, stick them on a place that you’ll see everyday. This way, you can ensure that you don’t lose track of what you want to achieve.

~~ What are your options?

Do you have a list of your favourite companies yet? If not, get at it right away. Whether you are job hunting or are happy with your current profile, keep a list of the companies that operate in your domain, and that you’d like to work for; keep track of their websites, their recruiting pages, and your personal contacts. For all you know, these details may come in handy at a later date. Besides, knowledge of your employer’s competition can place you at an advantage.

~~ Who can help you?

You don’t need to stop at listing personal contacts who work for your dream companies alone. Try possible mentors, seniors, and big personalities you’d otherwise be afraid of reaching out to. Having them on your list would push you to get in touch with them and eventually open hidden doors of opportunity.

~~ What were your biggest accomplishments in 2015?

Remember those moments when you beamed with pride over an accomplishment at work? Put it down on paper. Each time you make yourself proud, add it to your list.

Over the year, you’re likely to accumulate a list of at least five, if not 10, such achievements. You won’t need a better motivator when the going gets tough. And yes, you won’t have to try hard to recall your accomplishments while updating your resume.

~~ What are you better at than others?

Competitive advantage is always about setting yourself apart from the regulars. Jot down your core competencies. In addition to boosting your confidence, it will also make for a cool LinkedIn profile or cover letter.

~~ Are you full of ideas?

Make a habit of writing down five ideas about a subject every day. By the end of the month or year, you’d have a repository of original ideas that you could use when the need arises. Maybe you’d create an identity for yourself as the ‘creative brain’ at your workplace.

~~ When did you last upgrade your skills?

Most companies are faced with a dearth of talent when they look to hire, as the gap between candidate skills and company requirements is wide. Enrol yourself into an online course that will help bridge this gap. By doing so, you’d put yourself in good light with your current employer and also upscale yourself to being a sought-after resource in the job market.

~~ Have you optimised your LinkedIn profile with keywords?

The largest professional network in the world, LinkedIn is used by most recruiters to identify candidates best suited to the job description. A few keywords are all they need to start fishing from the talent pool.

Make sure you invest your time in building a profile strong on keywords to land your dream job.

~~ Do you diversify your reading?

If no, you must now. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut by reading from the same sources repeatedly. Open yourself to new thought processes, ones that challenge your existing opinions to gain fresh, wholesome perspectives on various subjects.

~~ What are you grateful for?

Recollecting and recording the things you feel grateful for is a positive reinforcement of optimism. It could do wonders to how you sail through the day, especially when you lose sight in the tide of things.

A career bucket list is one that gives you a sense of direction and sets you on the path to success. Create yours now and track your growth through the year.