Now that all the talk of trendy New Year’s resolutions has died down, it’s a good time to start reflecting on serious career-oriented resolutions for 2018. Last year, only 4.1% of Americans cited “find a better job” as a resolution while 5.3% said they wanted to “learn something new”. It’s time to change that! If you’ve been thinking about making a career shift and are afraid to take the plunge, or if you want to improve your marketability but don’t know where to start, consider this an invitation to up your game.

As a career coach, I’ve seen far too many people become complacent in their current role, afraid to pursue their dreams. They are often overwhelmed and don’t know how to proceed. It’s time to become proactive and shift your approach!

Whether you’re looking for your dream job or want to improve your skills, here are five career steps you need to make in 2021.

1. Build your skillset. Employers want employees who are motivated to learn new skills, even more than they want employers who are willing to work long hours. The top skills employers want their employees to improve are communication, leadership, and job-related skills. Adding one of these to your resume or building upon an existing one is an excellent way to give your career a boost.

2. Update your resume and LinkedIn. Keeping your credentials up-to-date is so important, even if you’re not in the job market. More and more employers are recruiting passive candidates, so you never know who will be checking you out online. Make sure your resume style is on point, and use these tips for avoiding the resume black hole. And don’t forget about LinkedIn. There are more than 6.5 million jobs on there, so the odds are pretty good that your dream jobis as well. Learn how to use LinkedIn to find it and land it.

3. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means not worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow, or dwelling on what happened in yesterday’s meeting. This shift enables you to take a step back and make better decisions. It also enhances creativity, focus, and productivity. Bonus!

Happy employees are good employees. The more you can keep your mindset positive and inspired, the more productive and engaged you will be in your work.

4. Find a mentor. Working with mentors has changed my life. And you don’t just have to take my word for it. One study revealed that mentoring had a number of favorable benefits to the mentees, including improved behavior, attitudes, and health as well as higher motivation and better career outcomes. Finding the right mentor isn’t always easy, but these helpful tips can set you on the right path.

5. Read more and listen up. There is a wealth of professional and personal development topics available online; all you need to do is take advantage of the resources available to you! Read a book, listen to a podcast, or watch a TedTalk each day and see where it takes you. I bet you’ll be inspired.

Today is the day to make a change, if for no other reason than you’ve been putting it off for far too long. Complacent no more, these five easy resolutions will put you on the path towards inspired.

What career change have you resolved to implement in 2021?

By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

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  • I'm a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you're excited about and aligned with. This may look like coaching you 1:1, hosting you in one of my courses, or meeting you at one of workshops or keynote speaking engagements! I also own CAKE Media, a house of ghostwriters, copywriters, publicists and SEO whizzes that help companies and influencers expand their voice online. Before being an entrepreneur, I was an award-winning counterterrorism professional who helped the Pentagon in Washington, DC with preparing civilians to prepare for the frontlines of the war on terror.