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Take some time during November and December to conduct a reality check of your professional life

"Take some time during November and December to conduct a reality check of your professional life," advises JillXan Donnelly, President of The Career Exposure Network. "This means evaluating your career path, updating your resume to reflect recent accomplishments, and creating goals for next year." Specifically, she recommends that you reflect on this year's accomplishments, noting how you achieved each one. Then use that information to update your resume to show off the best of you. Next, determine goals for the New Year. How does your pay package stack up? Do you need to acquire new skills? Finally, Donnelly points out that many companies do most of their hiring in the first quarter, so having your career act together will give you a leg up on the competition.

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