Millennial New Years Resolutions to Help Further Your Career

January 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

My New Years Eve was decidedly non-Millennial.  I didn’t get dressed up and go out with friends to a black tie shindig or a cozy house party.  Instead, I watched TV in my New England childhood home, delighted to have dozens more cable channels that I do in DC.  Indeed, I was so engrossed in Futurama, I completely forgot to watch the ball drop.

In the midst of all of my at home comforts (my bed has an electric blanket!), I’d also forgotten to seriously consider my New Years resolutions.  In all honesty, they don’t change much year to year: stay in touch with loved ones, listen to my body when it comes to training, improve my Spanish skills, etc.

This year, I’ve decided to keep my new years resolutions succinct and job focused. In fact, there are only two:

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1. I will Join LinkedIn

I’ve had Friendster and MySpace.  The tiny hipster facet of my personality will coolly remark that I have been on Facebook since it was limited to Boston area colleges. You know, before they let just anyone join.   Clearly, I have no problem exposing my “likes,” (which include Wide Sargasso Sea and Jonathon Kozol fyi), to hundreds of people. Yet, I have been extremely reticent to join LinkedIn.  I know it’s probably not much less private than Facebook, but making my employment information available to anyone who can operate a search engine gave me pause.  Of course, I began to change my mind when I saw how many people are on the site; My father, former bosses and several of my best friends are on LinkedIn.  People with whom I have interviewed are on LinkedIn.  Seven men named Sherlock Holmes are on LinkedIn.  Clearly, it is time for me to stop resisting and join.

2. I Will Become the Savion Glover of Networking

The New Year is the perfect time to improve my tapping skills: tapping into my networks, that is. There are plenty of people to meet in my college network, my law school network and my graduate school network. Networking pays off, especially in this type of economy.  Many of my post law school jobs were not acquired through the good old-fashioned application process. No, I was hired because I knew the person doing the hiring and they were aware of my background and skills either through informational interviews or volunteering.   I know networking offers tremendous potential for obtaining a job.  My 2014 will be dedicated to cultivating the time and enthusiasm required for this essential task.

I will keep CareerFuel updated with my progress as I attempt to keep these resolutions.  I especially look forward to discussing the photo I select for my LinkedIn profile, never having taken a “professional” photograph.  I am currently vacillating between crossed arms and a power suit and a smizing close up.

How about you? Did you make any job related new years resolutions for 2014?

AnnMarie Quintaglie McIlwain is a former marketing executive with Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and consultant to several Fortune 100 companies.  Now, as Founder and CEO of, she is a social entrepreneur who connects people with the information and inspiration they need in order to get jobs and start businesses. CareerFuel is the only site that gives people what they need to know to find jobs or start businesses plus blogs and short films about real people who made it happen. 

A recipient of numerous civic and leadership awards, AnnMarie is a Board member of, was a participant in the first White House Entrepreneurial Session, the recent WeOwnIt Summit, and the first Alley to the Valley Event.  She is also a member of 85Broads and Startup America.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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