Here are three ideas to consider:
1. Think of at least one friendly contact to get back in touch with.
The idea is simple - if you've got ONE person you know that likes you and has respect for your abilities, you can get them to a) give you advice or help and b) introduce you to one other person with a warm recommendation.
It's incredible how many people we can meet over a short lifetime and then just fall out of touch with, and just how many of those people might remember something positive about what you did.
Till today I find myself reconnecting with people I taught or worked with over a decade ago.
Using occasions like new years, the holidays or even birthdays (if listed on their social media publicly) are great excuses to reach out and ask for a quick chat.
I remember moving to a new town - and I've moved a few times - it's always one connection you start with that leads to many others.
2. Learn at least one new skill to make yourself more valuable.
What skill, you ask? Think about something people need, or perhaps it's something that makes you work faster or more accurately. For myself, learning basic design and video editing along with maintaining a simple website has made me more valuable to many previous clients and in time I use that in my consulting roles to advise business owners on getting off the ground.
Often it's not one skill of any major importance but rather many small skills that have a way of adding up, kind of like a multiplier effect.
So can you be the go-to guy or gal that can write, proofread and format someone's writing? That will certainly get you paid!
3. Build or rebuild your relationship with your people leader.
Everyone has a love-hate relationship with their boss. No one even likes saying 'boss' or 'manager' anymore but there it is. And yet, this is the person that has the most immediate effect upon your career path, so why not smoothen the edges off of this relationship?
It could just be asking for a bit of facetime at the end of the workday or workweek, just ten minutes to get their feedback or just have them listen to you.
If you don't have this pre-existing relationship, perhaps we need to create more value and show this to them with your storytelling powers. Make them see your impact and ambition for more - and yes, we need both.
Like them or not, this relationship is the path to bigger and better things.
Will all of this help us get through possible bumpy roads ahead? Probably.
Even if it was a great year, re-assessing our relationship with old positive contacts, our people leader and our abilities are excellent ways to keep the magic alive and be able to build something awesome out of our careers.