3 career resolutions for 2012

Now that January is underway, take some time to set goals for the year ahead.

The new year is the perfect time to take stock of your work life.  Here are some simple ways you can get ahead.

Know what you want
First off, understand what it is that you want to accomplish. “Who do you want to be in 2012?” asks Sarah Hathorn, CEO and founder of Illustra Consulting. “Get crystal clear on your career goals. Challenge yourself to renew and recreate yourself in a way that capitalizes on your talent while it unearths a new you.”

Keep it professional
As technology makes it easier to take work home, remember to keep work and your personal life separate. Ed and Ellen Schack — who are, respectively, the CEOs of EES Cosmetic Solutions and Cowabunga Ice Cream — have set a few resolutions for themselves in their home-based businesses.
“Answer the phone, fax or e-mail only during business hours,” they advise. And never, of course, work in pajamas.

Get organized
Can’t find the latest invoice or memo among endless emails? Or maybe it’s buried somewhere under the heaps of paper on your desk? Time to think about making this the year you get organized.

Not only should your physical workspace be kept orderly, but you should also have a handle on business expenses — it can save you some real money in 2012.

“The IRS may only need receipts for expenses over $75. However, by not tracking the smaller items, you could be losing potential expenses that can be written off,” explains Jane Evans, owner of a Pennsylvania branch of BookKeeping Express. “Organize receipts in categories such as utilities, supplies, contract labor and rent.”

10 most stressful jobs of 2012  

CareerCast.com evaluated more than 200 positions — looking at work environment, job competitiveness and risk — to compile its annual Job Stress Report. Here are the top 10 most stressful occupations:

1. Enlisted military soldier (Average income: $35,580)
2. Firefighter ($45,250)
3. Airline pilot ($103,210)
4. Military general ($196,300)
5. Police officer ($53,540)
6. Event coordinator ($45,260)
7. Public relations executive ($91,810)
8. Corporate executive (senior) ($165,830)
9. Photojournalist ($40,000)
10. Taxi driver ($22,440)


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