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Jan 04, 2017 10:20 AM EST

The new year is for new beginnings. More than keeping New Year's resolutions, there are some things you can do today that can have a lasting impact on your career long after the holiday spirit has died down. One of those is investing time to build your career.

Working on your career doesn't have to begin with the New Year or after graduating from college. Getting the degree is a preparation for your future career but you don't need to wait for it before you can improve and boost your chances of getting hired by great companies after school.

A report in the Seattle Times suggested the following steps to kickstart your career this year:

Position yourself a s a specialist

Be really, really good on a few things that you love to do. This can work to a college student's advantage since he can focus on a certain area to specialize on attending classes and workshops that will boost his knowledge. James Pollard of the The Advisor Coach, to become a specialist, you only need 2 things: first, decide where you want to specialize in and what you believe you can sell and second, immerse yourself in it.

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Review your LinkedIn profile

This is to make sure that your profile and posts reflect a more professional side of you so that hiring managers and recruiters can see that you are someone fit to do the job.

Volunteer

Volunteering boosts careers more than people realize. Apart from looking nice on resumes, it connects you with different people and giving your time to a worthy cause helps build your personal brand.

Find a mentor

Regardless of their field of specialization, a great mentor can truly improve one's career. Anyone who's ever been successful largely credit their success to their mentors. Quick note: when you do find a mentor, be a worthy mentee.

Start with personal branding

Get a business card, especially if you're actively seeking work or internships since it is people's first point of contact with you. Also consider having a personal website.

According to the New York Times, January is the best month to take steps towards improving your career whether it's asking for a raise, looking for a new job or finding happiness and purpose in your chosen field.

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Follows Career Planning, career boost, careers, specialization, professional, personal branding, internships, getting hired
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