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Kick-start your career in 2013

So you're back at work after the Christmas holidays and feeling a sense of dread at the prospect of another year of the same old, same old?

You have two choices: resign yourself to staying in a role you've outgrown or shake things up. If you want to get your career moving, here's what to do.

Clarify your goals

"I want to get a new job this year" is a start, but you're going to have to go into a lot more depth than that. Work out what's important to you – lots of money, expressing your creativity or helping others? What career paths are likely to make you happy? And how are you going to go about getting the position you want?

Survey your own backyard before looking to greener pastures

Especially if you work for a large organisation, you may be able to transition into another job without having to leave your current employer. Talk to your manager to see if it's possible to transfer to another department or adjust your current role so you are getting to learn new things and undertake more of the tasks you find enjoyable.

But don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone

One of the main reasons people end up in career ruts is because their work situation is comfortable. Sure, the job may no longer provide any challenge or inspiration, but it's secure, the people are friendly and there's even long-service leave! Unfortunately, there's no way to get an exciting new position without saying goodbye to the fringe benefits of your existing one.

Make yourself attractive to prospective employers

If you're looking to move into a new field, think about how you can acquire the skill set that will get employers and/or clients interested in you. You may wish to enrol in a TAFE NSW course, volunteer to do unpaid work experience or look into starting your own business.

Keep a sense of perspective

It's easy to get obsessive about job hunting and talk yourself into believing your entire life is determined by your work situation. Don't get so focused on your career shift that you forget to make time for friends, family and other non-work interests.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to implement a strategy to get out of that rut.