Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
“It’s not in my job description!”

Yes it is, my friend! And it should be in your career plan too. That little line that states “Other duties as required” or “Other duties as requested” shows that whatever the boss-man or boss-lady asks is within your scope. (By the way, please do not add this line to your resume, as it adds no value at all.)

But, there should be a bigger and more exciting reason for you to want to embrace special projects, and that is to boost your resume and your knowledge!

Your resume and interview are not just about your job description, but also should encompass the many positive contributions you have made to your employer. Some of those would be the above and beyond type projects which allow you the opportunity to utilize additional knowledge of other areas of a company. For instance, if you are in information technology, but assisted on an implementation to increase marketing visibility, the project broadens your scope of knowledge, thereby making you a more appealing candidate to a hiring organization.

Think about it: do you really want to pass on the “other duties” that an employer will like? That includes your own employer, who may promote you when the project succeeds!