New Year Goals Should Land Your Next Job #goalsetting to forward #careers

Think Clouds With Affirmative Statements

With every new year is another opportunity to restart your career.   How can you turn new goals for your current job into a solid track to your next promotion?

One of the most important January business planning activities is often overlooked.   Rested from a holiday break, we get back to work full of energy and ready to tear through our To-Do list, particularly if we have year end projects to finish.  Let’s step back and ask some questions about those activities.

  • Is the planned activity list going to help my company deliver better products or services?
  • Do I have any activities planned that will help me grow professionally?
  • What work will help me get promoted?

Creating a strategic plan in January for tactical activities for the entire year will benefit your employer and you personally. I suggest writing out five possible goals to share with your manager, seeking their input and approval.

Create Five Goals

Goals One, Two and Three – These goals should be structured to benefit your company.   How can you set a goal that will improve sales, productivity or overall profit?  Even at an entry level position, your activities should show a direct line contribution to profit for your corporation, or to improvement of services to your customers or constituents.  Putting the company first indicates to your supervisor that you understand and are inspired by the company mission.

Goal Four – Your next goal should be structured around personal improvement or professional development.   Although we arrive at the workplace with past experience or have received on-the-job training, there is always something more you can learn.  Perhaps you may look into a certification program that you can add to your resume.  Or maybe it is time to broaden your ability to contribute with a horizontal move into another practice area to expand your knowledge base.

Goal Five – The last goal should be written to show your desire to take on additional responsibilities.  Read through the job descriptions of the job you want.  What skill set is needed for this position?  How can you demonstrate that you have the knowledge or leadership skills to meet the challenges and responsibilities in this role.

Congratulations – you are ready to start a new year, and great opportunities lie ahead!  Get after it!

About Joyce Jarek: Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1®Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates.  She enjoys mentoring her own team, and coaching new graduates who are entering the workforce and starting their first real job after college. To purchase First Job, visit 

The Gift of Recognition


This is the giving season, and identifying the appropriate gift for coworkers and employees is challenging.   Giving a gift to someone you are close to, but is not family, not a close friend, but still, and important part of your week, every week, can be awkward.   Is gifting necessary?  Would most coworkers enjoy receiving something or is an act of kindness enough.

This year, think about giving the gift of recognition.  Everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions on and off the work playing field; what varies and needs personalization is the form of recognition.  Different forms of recognition motivate coworkers, and that customization will show you care, and make your holiday gift come straight out from your heart.

Some coworkers would appreciate a verbal acknowledgement: “Hey, that presentation was great”.  Or if someone helped you out this year and helped to unburden the project load, it never hurts to repeat your thanks for a good deed that happened during the year, thanking them again for their contribution.  Coming back to something that happened a few months ago shows that it is truly appreciated.

Others may best be motivated by something tangible, so go ahead and get that Starbucks gift card.  Who wouldn’t appreciate a cup of coffee or nonfat tea latte with extra whip?!

And often the simplest kind gesture is the one that is the most sincere.  Offer to do the driving one day, offer to cover the desk so that a coworker can get out and do some last minute shopping, or go out of your way to meet at their location, perhaps stopp for a muffin along the way and bring it to the meeting.   Be kind and spread joy.

And if you really, really can’t think of a good gift, I suggest my book, First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates.  See link below!

Happy Holidays!

About Joyce Jarek: Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1®Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates.  She enjoys mentoring her own team, and coaching new graduates who are entering the workforce and starting their first real job after college. To purchase First Job, visit About Joyce Jarek: Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1® Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates.  She enjoys mentoring her own team, and coaching new graduates who are entering the workforce and starting their first real job after college. To purchase First Job, visit

First Job: The Transition Series Video – Graduates Prepare for Your First Job!

White Letters First Job with red background

Spring 2015 Graduates have entered their last semester and the end of their college career is in sight.  Congratulations!

Watch Joyce Jarek’s YouTube Video series about transitioning from the college environment to the workforce.

Joyce Jarek Mihalik is a business leader in the real estate industry, creator of HlpSum1, Inc., and author of First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates. To purchase, visit

Can I Shop on #CyberMonday during #Worklife ? Advice about #jobs & #IT policies

computer screen image

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, most of us will be picking up coffee on the way into work Monday morning with five days of work in front of us.   However, the Monday after Thanksgiving can also have a “holiday-feel” as retailers hype up Cyber Monday – supposedly THE DAY to shop online.  If you are tempted to browse in between meetings, have you considered whether it is OK to shop online at work?

Every workplace has different norms and policies.  What is your company’s IT policy?  Using company hardware or the web  interface for personal use is often strictly prohibited, or at best, it can only be used for a limited time during the day.  Most companies will have the capability to monitor every email, every website visited, and all documents created and stored on your computer.  One time I called the help desk and the service representative asked me if I owned a Harley (which I do). He had tracked the websites I visited where I was looking for new shocks for the bike. Cyber attacks are on the rise and the company has every right to protect their equipment, their information and intellectual property.  Company security is everyone’s responsibility – not just the IT department, and your mobile device, tablet or laptop may become a gateway for hackers.

In addition to the cyber security issues, we need to be mindful of keeping up our productivity as the holiday season kicks off.  What do you need to accomplish before the work year ends?  Most work place activity slows down to a crawl during the last two weeks of December, so this is your time to kick it in high gear and wrap up some projects.

I suggest making your Cyber Monday wish list tonight, and hitting the GO button when you get home.  The good news about Cyber Monday is that it lasts until 11:59 p.m.  I wish you a great start to the holidays, and if you decide to shop online on Cyber Monday, here is a quick link to get you started!



Why I wrote First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates


Business World Beyond the Classroom

Hello Readers:
I recently released my first book “First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates.” The book relays personal experiences from a 27 year business career through four fictional characters, Kelsey, Devon, Jake and Donna that find themselves in tricky business situations and provides advice on how to prevent them or respond responsibly.  I made a lot of stupid mistakes in my career, and have always kept a journal to remind myself not to do them again.  I hope readers will recognize when they are in a similar situation and have a strong reference point on how to navigate through it.

The market is saturated with heavy reference information available for professionals with five to fifteen years of experience who are ready for leadership positions, but few books concentrate on early career progression for both men and women.  The average 23 year old is just trying to…

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First Job – Situational Story Telling That Improves Professional Skills by Joyce Jarek

White Letters First Job with red background

Hello readers:

I want to share exciting news about a milestone achieved in my personal and professional life. I recently surpassed a twenty-five-year anniversary in business management serving several corporations in roles that include analytics, contract negotiations, purchasing and operations management. However, the most rewarding experience has been through supervision and mentoring.

I want to share my experiences in such a way that younger professionals may quickly absorb lessons learned through stories about common situations that they are likely encountering right now in the workplace. This fall, my first book First Job: A Personal Career Guide for Graduates will be released through Friesen Press and made available with major carriers like Ingram, Amazon, Kindle and Barnes & Noble as a paperback or ebook.

First Job relays valuable information by introducing four characters Donna, Devon, Kelsey and Jake who have landed jobs in engineering, marketing, and business development. They encounter situations that occur everyday in the business world, and are affected by the actions of colleagues and friends that influence the outcome. It makes suggestions on how to develop skill sets around growing your knowledge base, collaborating with team members, and distinguishing yourself as promotion-worthy. The book is ideal for 19-26 year olds just entering the workforce or have under 3 years of experience. However, managers may also use this book to create professional awareness and encourage discussion about career growth, or as a teaching tool for new supervisors.

You can sign up for an alert about the release date at   I would appreciate your support by sharing this announcement with friends, coworkers and family on your social media or internet page.

Best regards,

Joyce Jarek

Summer is slipping by…are you keeping up with your work?


IMG_1415During the summer it is difficult to stay motivated. After Memorial Day, coworkers with families begin to disappear. Both parents ands kids are anxious to escape the routine of school and all of their extra curricular activiites. From June to midJuly, work productivity can slow way down. New employees, who may not have yet accumulated significant vacation time are left behind. The buzz in the office slows down and motivation to keep up the pace disappears. Summer feels like a good time to slip out early and enjoy friends, family and fun. So what’s the worry?

The summer teaser can turn into trauma if you find yourself way behind on meeting goals for the year when up north, the leaves start to fall.  From September to December, the year feels unbelievably short. Hard to count December as a full work month since many people are out once again enjoying the holidays. It becomes a short work month. Projects and deliveries are hard to accomplish after Halloween because frankly, you just run out of time to properly wrap things up.

The best thing to do is to recognize the potential for a work slow down midyear with a little extra effort in the Spring. But if you find yourself after the baseball All-Star break concerned about how the year is passing you by – from a work perspective, it is time to begin climbing out of the hole now, instead of waiting till Labor Day. Think of your summer as a valley. If activity at work declines from Memorial Day to Independence Day, then through each week in July and August, increase your productivity by 10-15% through Labor Day, so you can be at your best during early Fall. You won’t be cheating your summer fun, but you will start climbing back into the full swing of things and be positioned to hit your targets for year end goals.

Start a Blank Board Exchange


ImageCoworkers comes to the workplace with different expectations backgrounds, relationships and experiences. We have to be careful to pick and choose whom we confide in. If you aren’t sure, then wait. We are all anxious to settle in and get to know our new work family.   Mindful execution will pay off. Here is how. In your first month you’re going to meet a bunch of people that you don’t know. It’s hard to know why someone joined a particular department. Their job may be the same but their path to this career is different than yours. While you’re learning about your coworkers, I suggest you create a blank board and see if others write on it first. I would withhold some personal information, particularly your opinions. You want to start off on a good foot but something you may say can hit a sensitive spot.  Try the Give and Get sequence.  Ask a question or two about a safe subject such as departmental goals or time in service, and see if you receive a response.  If your questions are not answered with enthusiasm or accompanied by opinion, then hold back on your own.    Work on slowly building a rapport before straying too far away from the day to day work routine.  Creating an atmosphere where others can share their opinions will give you a test field on whether it is appropriate to share yours.