When everyone else’s career resolutions are fizzling, yours could be just beginning!
We’re now into the second month of the new year and many people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. Fitness centers that were jammed with motivated members have already started to thin out. Even those who set career resolutions often find themselves struggling to keep them and end up giving up during this time. It’s not surprising or uncommon; breaking habits and forming new ones is difficult—and these are the type of resolutions that most folks set.
Most people fail at their personal resolutions simply because they set the bar too high—like trying to lose too much weight too fast or attempting to run a marathon even though they’ve never run more than a mile.
But making resolutions related to your career, having ambition, striving to improve or having the desire to branch out to a new path are not only reasonable goals, if you follow through, they are within your reach.
I believe there’s a better way to take on the new year, to set goals, stay motivated and achieve even more than we imagined!
1. Take a good, hard look at your job and your company
You go to work everyday, but how often do you really sit and think about what you do? For many people, work becomes such a routine that they hardly ever really, deeply think about what they’re doing.
So one great way to start off the new year is to sit down and take a good, hard look at your job: are you happy doing what you do? Are there areas for growth and learning or new opportunities that you’re not tapping into or reaching out for?
Try to be totally self-aware—keep in mind that just because you’re not UN-happy, doesn’t mean you’re happy. Does what you’re doing give you fulfillment? If you come to the conclusion that you’re not totally satisfied, that maybe you’re longing for something more, it’s time to consider what you can do to change that.
When we coach individuals or team building workshops for clients, we often find that professionals stop talking to their employers about improving their career situation, if they communicate about it at all. We also see that they stop looking for learning and growth opportunities before moving on.
But when you grow and push and reach for more at your current job, the more prepared you are for future opportunities, whether the bigger and better things you move on to are with your current employer or elsewhere.
2. Decide to do more
Another achievable goal is to make a conscious decision to do more. Whether you find yourself avoiding certain tasks at work or skipping networking events or learning opportunities (I get it, you’re tired!), the new year brings lots of new possibilities that you can take advantage of to enhance your career.
So before you brush this one off thinking, “I’m already too busy,” make it realistic by setting a more reasonable goal, like committing yourself to attending one event each month or signing up for a webinar every two weeks. Little steps can lead to big accomplishments!
3. Put another notch in your belt
Adding more skills to your repertoire is an awesome way to start the new year. It also makes you more marketable if you decide you’re ready for a change. Want to enhance your technological skills or ramp up your design techniques? There’s no time like the present!
And if your job is related to the skills you want to learn, all the better! Your employer may even cover the cost of an online course or an industry seminar. Just remember to keep the goal real and reasonable—don’t expect to become a pro in something new overnight.
4. Give your resume a makeover
It’s always a good idea to review to your resume, update it and refresh it on a regular basis and the new year is as good a time as any. Plus, having an up-to-date resume is key if you are thinking about a career change and you never know when the opportunity of a lifetime will come along or a recruiter will be seeking your exact skill set.
5. Get better connected
“Make new friends and keep the old”, you remember that old song, right? You have good friends and colleagues but adding to your network is always positive. You never know who you’ll meet that may become a mentor, lead you to a new opportunity or give you new insight into your career.
Making new connections doesn’t have to cause you stress or take a lot of time, either—it all depends on how you go about it. So again, set realistic goals for yourself, like joining a new group on LinkedIn, committing to meeting one new person a month, attending a workshop every other month or whatever is appealing and attainable to you.
Change your career path in one simple step
If you’re tired of making new year’s resolutions about your career and not following through, you can change all that with one phone call to Yeh IDeology. We’re a Design & Strategy recruitment firm that guides motivated individuals through the development of their careers by analyzing their profiles and clarifying their goals.
Our extensive, introspective process has enabled managers, executives, business owners and self-employed professionals to analyze and target the best possible direction for their careers—and it can help you too! To learn more, call us at 212-348-6511 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.