‘Tis the season to reflect on 2017 and think about what changes you need to make. Whether you’re on the job hunt or your career is taking off, every professional takes inventory of their past accomplishments to help their future performance. A good examination of your year can help you focus on what’s really going to help you succeed. If your New Year’s Resolution is to commit to networking successfully, we’ve got some tips to help you make it a habit.

Make Networking a Habit

The key to developing a new skill in 2018 is to make it a habit. If you’re dedicated to increasing your networking success in the new year, you’ll need to work on it daily. Wake up each weekday with your goal in mind. Before you start your day, send a LinkedIn request or a follow-up email. Starting strong at the beginning of the day will help you focus on your work for the rest of the day, and you’ll be able to reach out to people as they start their daily tasks.

Also, don’t let yourself think that networking only happens at events or on LinkedIn. You’ll know your networking is a habit when you catch yourself networking at a friend’s party or in line for coffee. Everyone knows that person: the ambitious, charismatic professional always ready to advocate for themselves. Be that person! Success comes with selling yourself as a great worker.

Stay Accountable

Whether it’s a task-tracking app or an old-fashioned paper list, know what works for you. Start 2018 with work-specific resolutions and goals related to networking. Your list should include events you want to attend, old connections you want to reach out to, and any new professionals you want to contact in the new year.

Your networking goals should include your long-term vision for your career. Are you looking to become a CEO one day, or is your focus to master certain skills? This will inform your path to success. You should also focus on intentional networking: making connections thoughtfully and with purpose. Distributing your business card to everyone you meet is not intentional networking. Setting up an informational interview with a recruiter, however, is thoughtful and will help you get closer to your goals.

Train Your Brain

Achieving your goals is possible if you embrace the power of positive thinking. Focusing on your mindset is a great way to up your networking potential. If you’re an introvert, you may struggle with starting conversations and staying on a potential employer’s radar. Employ a classic technique to push through your barriers, like “fake it ‘til you make it”. Research shows that pretending you’re a networking expert can actually boost your abilities. Pretend you’re a skilled leader with many professional connections at an upcoming networking event, and the dream might become reality.

Work with a Top Staffing Agency in Chicago 

To be the best, you have to adapt like the best. When your job search is lacking, it’s time for a new tactic: a dynamic partnership. Working with a high-quality staffing firm in Chicago like Davis Staffing will give you access to premium job listings and professionals that can provide you with valuable industry insight.