Is the weather getting you down? Create your own sunshine by kicking your career into a higher gear this month.

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You survived the holidays in December and your performance appraisal in January. Now it’s the beginning of February, and the rainy days in Seattle are making you feel a little sluggish. What’s a person to do? Kick your career into a higher gear by doing something courageous every week in February!

This week: Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Pull out that performance appraisal and look at all of your accomplishments over the last year. Congratulations on everything you achieved! Now dust off your resume and update it, adding those achievements as well as any additional skills you’ve learned, education you completed or certifications you obtained. And don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile, a simple task once your resume is current.

Week of Feb. 8: Ask for LinkedIn recommendations. Your goal is to obtain at least three recommendations, preferably one from a former manager, one from a co-worker and one from someone who worked for you (such as on a project you led). Log into your account and click on “Privacy & Settings” and under the “Helpful Links” section, select “Manage your recommendations.” Click the “Ask for recommendations” tab and follow the prompts. Tip: For each person you ask to write a recommendation, provide three skills that you’d like him or her to discuss. Be sure to thank them afterward.

Week of Feb. 15: Upgrade your image. Did you know it takes only three to five seconds for someone to form a first impression? And while you might wish that opinion were based on your intelligence or experience, most studies show that first impressions are shaped by what can be seen or heard in those initial few seconds. February is a great time to schedule a free consultation with a personal shopper/stylist at a local clothing store. Then ask for assistance finding clothes that will help you project a polished, professional image at work.

Week of Feb. 22: Upgrade your workspace. After upgrading your personal image, work on your office image. Clean out and declutter your workspace. Get rid of trash. Organize paperwork. Tidy up your bookshelves. The better your office or cube looks, the easier you will be able to demonstrate to your boss (and others) that you are organized, responsible and truly care about your job.

Feb. 29: Sign up for a networking event. Leap day extra credit, for those of you who are go-getters.

Lisa Quast is a certified executive coach, and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at