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We’re about to start a new year, and it’s one that so far looks like it could be rocky and uncertain. The economy is shaky, and layoffs are starting to happen in certain industries. Some people retreat to their comfort zone when things get uncertain, but other people use it as a chance to identify opportunities and advance in their lives and their careers.

If you want to be the second type of person, there are things you can do to give your current career a boost, perhaps strengthen your business, or build your skillset so you can begin a new career. Again it’s the tough times when the best opportunities are often hiding.

With that in mind, the following are things you can do to advance and boost your career in 2023.

Get a Certificate

There are flexible learning with online certificate programs, and while they don’t replace a degree, they’re an excellent option if you’re career-minded. When you earn a certificate, you have the flexibility of working online, and it may be self-paced. You can stay at the job you have currently while you build skills.

Other benefits of certificates include the fact that you can study essentially any subject, you can improve your resume and stand out from the competition if you’re going to eventually look for a new employer, and it’s much more affordable than investing in a traditional degree program. You can also learn at your own pace and in the ways that most resonate with you.

An effective employee is one who’s always learning new skills, setting new goals, and taking on new responsibilities. When you learn, even if it’s not through a certificate program, you are going to be more prepared for whatever big opportunity comes your way.

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If you know that you want to learn or build new skills, independent learning is always a good option at first. Once you have an idea of your interests, following a structured learning path tends to be most effective for advancing your career.

If you’re choosing a qualification or course, ask yourself how much time you can realistically commit to it, whether you need a specific accreditation, and how you’ll fund your learning if it’s not something you can do through your current job.

Focus on Results, Not Time

There’s this mentality that we tend to develop, particularly for people who started out in hourly jobs and maybe are still in one. You have this mindset that the time you’re working is what’s creating value.

The goal in your career for 2023 should be focusing on results rather than time. If you’re currently in an hourly position, maybe that motivates you to find a salaried position or start your own business.

If you’re already salaried or own a business, stop thinking that spending the most hours at work is what creates success. Make 2023 the year that you’re driven by results. This also helps facilitate more balance in your life, and that’s what’s going to allow you to excel.

As well as putting your attention towards results, you want to make sure that you’re working on goals that actually matter. Making you meaningful will create purpose, and purpose drives growth.

Pay Attention to Your Physical Health

You might wonder how your physical health has anything to do with advancing your career, but the two are intrinsically motivated. If you set goals for your physical health and well-being, there are going to be positive changes that carry over to your career inevitably.

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For example, if you’re taking time to get a good night’s sleep, and you eat well and move your body, you’re going to have energy and focus when you’re in the office.

A lot of people also feel that taking care of their health makes them more creative and innovative. You can also feel more in control of all parts of your life, which includes your career, when you take control of your health.

Set small health goals for yourself in 2023. For example, maybe you cut back on alcohol and spend 5-10 minutes a day meditating and see how those changes start to have a positive impact on your work.

Look for Areas Where You Can Grow and Develop

Finally, a new year is a good time to take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and goals and start to see where you want to be versus where you are currently.

Use the start of 2023 to think about specific hard skills that maybe you’ve always been interested in developing.

Think about how you could develop the strengths you already have and then how you could put that work into practice.

Shabbir Ahmad

Shabbir Ahmad is a freelance enthusiastic blogger & SEO expert. He is the founder of Shifted Magazine & Shifted News. He contributes to many authority blogs including porch, hackernoon & techcrunch.