Career Management

New year, new start and all that. For a lot of us, the beginning of a new year is the force we need to kick us into action and to encourage us to adopt a proactive attitude towards achieving our goals.

Though new years resolutions are commonly focused on getting fit or picking up a new hobby; a large number of people aspire to make changes at work and take steps to give their career a much-needed boost.

Here are some of the most common career related new years resolutions that people make from year to year. Are any of these on your To Do list for 2016?

1) Get a promotion

A lot of us may be dreaming of getting a promotion, but it won’t happen if you just sit back and do the bare minimum. In order to be considered for a pay-rise or promotion you will have to prove your worth in the company and demonstrate what you could bring to the new role. Talk to your manager to build an idea of what you have to work on and what steps you can take to make yourself promotion ready in the new year.

2) Quit your job

If your job is getting you down, or you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall in your current role, it may be time to find something new. There’s no point sticking with something if it is truly making you unhappy and there’s bound to be an opportunity waiting around the corner for you that will be a much better fit. Take the time to figure out exactly what you want to do and what you want from a job and then take the appropriate actions to give your job search a kickstart in the right direction.

3) Be more organised

There’s nothing more stressful than getting into the office in the morning and not having a clue what you’re supposed to be working on, or where you can find it! Use the new year to get everything in order, so that you can manage your time efficiently and always know exactly where you are with certain tasks. A good place to start is by tidying your desk, removing any unnecessary clutter that could become a distraction and by making good use of a diary or calendar to keep track of daily happenings.

4) Network more

You know deep down that networking can open so many doors, yet you’ve kind of put it on the back burner over the last year. Now’s your chance to turn this around and make some new contacts who could lead to exciting opportunities in the new year. Become more active on LinkedIn and other social networks, attend industry events and arrange meetings or a coffee with old contacts to touch base. You can get the ball rolling by checking out what events are coming up over the next few month and popping them in your diary early.

5) Learn a new skill

No matter how old you are or how long you have been in your career for, it’s never too late to learn something new and expand on your skill set. Identify an area that you would like to improve in, or a certain skill you would like to learn and book yourself into classes or teach yourself using online tutorials, etc.

6) Undertake further training

As I said before, it’s never too late. If you regret not getting a degree or training in a certain area earlier in life, what’s stopping you now? There are plenty of low-cost and flexible training opportunities on the market, which can be completed full time, or in your free time. Alternatively, a lot of companies are wiling to fund further training for their employees if they can see the benefits for their personal work performance and the business as a whole.

7) Say yes to scary opportunities

A lot of us are guilty of turning down great career opportunities on the basis that they scared us. By turning down these opportunities, you aren’t allowing yourself the chance to gain valuable experience and improve your skills in that area. After all, you may find that it’s not that scary after all, you just need to learn to grab the bull by the horns. Make 2016 the year of saying yes!

8) Set yourself goals and make a plan

If you feel like you haven’t achieved what you would have liked to this year, avoid making the same mistake next year by setting yourself some clear goals, making a plan  about how you’re going to achieve them and then sticking to it! Sure this may be easier said than done and a lot of new year’s resolutions go out the window after a week or so, but if you make it realistic and remind yourself why you’re doing it from time to time, I’m sure you can maintain motivation!

9) React proactively to criticism

It’s only natural to become defensive when somebody criticises your work or the way that you are doing something, but you’re unlikely to achieve much from reacting in this way and you never know, they may even have a point! In the future, if people offer their feedback, whether it be positive or negative, hear them out and see how you can take on board their advice.

10) Create a good work-life-balance

Not only does striking a good work-life-balance have the obvious benefits on your personal life, it can also greatly improve your wellbeing at work and job satisfaction. Giving yourself a decent amount of downtime, as well as committing yourself to your job during work hours means that you can excel in your career, at the same time as staying healthy and maintaining a good social life.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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