Top 10 New Year Career Resolutions
Once the hangover of NYE starts to wear off, most of us begin to reflect on what we want from the New Year and life in general. We start making new year resolutions intending to turn a new leaf and start afresh in lots of ways.
Resolutions or goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.
When setting a goal, first consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal and cross off each one as you work through them.
Given that, if one of your key goals is to make the new year your year for all things CAREER then, January is the perfect time to give your professional life a boost and set career goals for the year ahead. In the spirit of “new year, new you,” to give you need some inspiration, we’ve compiled 10 career resolutions that you might want to consider. Choose a couple or resolve to do them all— either way we guarantee you’ll set yourself up for success in the new year.
10 Career Resolutions Everyone Should Make in The New Year
Perform an Annual Career Check
You probably get your health checked on an annual basis but when was the last time you looked at the health of your career? Kickstart 2018 by having some ‘me’ time, and writing down how you feel about your career. What makes you happy, and what would you like to change? Is your current job really what you want to be doing? Or, at the least, is it helping you reach your goals? Also, do some salary research—is your income in line with your field and position?
Consider this process an annual check-up for your career health. If you feel good about everything—great! But if there are things that could be improved, think about how you can fix them, whether that’s taking on new responsibilities, training, working towards a promotion, or putting out feelers for what else is out there.
Build your Skillset
Employers want employees who are motivated to learn new skills, even more than they want employers who are willing to work long hours. The top skills employers want their employees to improve are communication, leadership, and critical thinking. Make it your goal to add at least one new bullet to “Skills” or “Education” on your resume. Consider technical skills that would make you more competitive in your field. Or get proficient in tools that could make your job (or your boss’ job) easier. Alternatively, think about a short management class – it might even position you for a promotion!
For inspiration, look to your seniors at work and think about how you can add their areas of expertise to your own skill set.
Update Your Resume (and everything else)
Keeping your credentials up-to-date is so important, even if you’re not in the job market. For one, if a recruiter or a friend-of-a-friend calls out of the blue with a great job opportunity, you’re going to want to have it ready to go. Plus, it’s a lot easier to update your accomplishments periodically, when they’re fresh in your mind, rather than trying to add in a couple of years of experience all at once.
Pay Attention in Class
Treat every workday like a school day. Be sure you learn something and use it to make yourself more productive. It doesn’t have to relate to your skills set. It may be as simple as understanding how to work with specific peers or emotional intelligence. Take mental notes. Don’t sleepwalk through the day.
OK, this is probably #1 on your New Year’s resolutions list (every year), but that’s because it’s so important. Try to break a sweat for 20 minutes, three days a week. Go for a walk at lunch. Join a gym. Lift weights. A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain and gives you ideas. You’ll be more productive at work, and best of all, you’ll feel better.
Go Above and Beyond
Occasionally think how you can go above and beyond. Are there projects outside your defined role you could help with? Be proactive; ask to join. Come up with your own ideas, and work with your manager to implement them. If you’re a hamster, step off the wheel and poke your head out of the cage. Stretch a little. This won’t go unnoticed.
Expand Your Network
Like, yesterday. Don’t wait for your next job search to get moving. Building and maintaining a solid professional network is one of the most important things you can do for yourself professionally, regardless of your employment status.
At a minimum, try to meet one new person every month (you’ll have a dozen new contacts by this time next year!) You’ll be surprised at how often people want to help you succeed.
Organize your inbox and workspace
When your space – or brain – is cluttered, it’s often difficult to concentrate. Don’t pile on more stress.
Shoot for an empty inbox physically and digitally every Friday in the short term.In the long term, purge paper no longer needed and de-clutter. [Doing so] can lighten your load and not make you feel overwhelmed.
While it may seem overwhelming to start, once you have everything organized, you’ll have more freedom to prioritize more important goals.
Improve your mindset
Happy employees are good employees. The more you can keep your mindset positive and inspired, the more productive and engaged you will be in your work. Have fun. Work hard, but smile while you’re doing it. No one likes a grump. Approach each day with a positive spirit and stay loose. Enjoy your family and friends as well. Make time for them — and you. It’s called work-life balance. All work and no play makes life a chore.
Don’t leave people waiting for answers. If you’re in an email environment, return emails promptly. Let people know what you’re doing. If you’re working on a project, always ask yourself who needs to know about it, then tell them. Talk to people; give them a heads up. And when someone helps you out, be sure to thank them. It’s amazing this even needs to be on a list, but bad communicators abound. Don’t be one of them.
Like the old saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” it’s never a bad time to start moving your career in a better direction.
Don’t let yourself slip into a career rut. Even if you’re perfectly content with where your career stands now, focusing on your professional development will ensure your continued success and will help you be prepared for where your career is headed next.
Career advancement is a year-round process, but why not let the momentum of January help kick-start your success? These 10 easy resolutions will help put you on that path, but remember: the best careers are proactive. Leave that reactivity behind!
And from all of us – Happy New Year!