Well, you are employed and bringing home a paycheck, but are you happy with your position and career direction? Does your employer value your contributions to the company? Are you being paid what you know you are worth? If your initial reaction to the first question, “is your paycheck getting in the way of your success?” was “no,” and you answered “yes” to any of the other questions, you may want to rethink your answer.

Executives like any other job seeker can get comfortable in their environment, even if it is not satisfying their needs, whatever those may be. They don’t want to think about looking for another job, even fear the unknown…what change may bring. And for some, the task of looking for a new job paralyzes them, because they just don’t know where to start.

One job search strategy is to continually look for your next job. As an executive you have experienced long-term planning with the companies and organizations you worked for. And most likely at some time you could have even created those plans. Put a similar strategy towards your career. You may know that you want to retire in five years, or you want to move up the corporate ladder to “C” level. Having these goals in mind should help you identify the steps you need to get there.

So I challenge you to take this year, 2013, and get started with your strategic short- and/or long-term career goals. Here is a month-by-month plan to help you get started.

January – This is a great time to do a career audit. It will help you evaluate your career direction and create a career action plan. Even if you already have a plan, revisiting it at this time is beneficial to make sure you are on track.

February – If you haven’t refreshed your resume in the last six months to a year, this is the month to do it. Your resume should reflect your latest achievements, sell your talents and skills, and showcase a person who has helped companies succeed.

March – Is your network in order? Is your contact list current? Have you lost touch with former colleagues, bosses, and recruiters? Executives know that the highest success rate in finding and landing jobs is by networking. Don’t let this vital resource go untapped.

April – Are you a member of a professional association? They can offer industry insights, occasions to meet people with similar career focus, special training, and opportunities to share your knowledge with others and become known as an expert in your field.

Check back for the remainder of 2013 month-by-month career strategy guide. Consider starting right now, this month, with at least one of the strategies mentioned above. One step at a time gets you that much closer to your goals!

Author's Bio: 

Award-winning, certified executive resume writer and executive career coach, Louise Garver, is President of Career Directions LLC. Louise is a career/resume expert for numerous online career sites and professional associations and is featured in 30+ books internationally. She has an 18-year track record of success in providing the tools executives and professionals need to achieve results in their job search.