Out with the Old, in with the…Well, You Get It!

Oh. My Gosh. Becky.

It’s a New Year!

I get pretty excited about the New Year, mostly because it means NEW (Hint: it’s in the name). Here in the middle of the United States, we had new snow, which only underscored the illusion of a clean slate. Let’s talk about NEW.

New Stuff

In 2017, you get new stuff. You know what I mean: a new calendar, a fresh desk, a new set of books. I, like a lot of people use this time to get organized. Label your folders (on line or offline), create more organized to-do lists or assemble a calendaring system you’ll actually use. My resolutions are that I will actually use Evernote (for white papers and in-depth articles) across all my devices and that I will use Shoeboxed to keep track of my traveling receipts.

New Processes

You know what’s hard? Change. Especially when you are working within a team. If everyone goes around changing their processes all the time, it makes for a very disorganized team. That’s why the first week in January makes everyone a little nuts; everyone’s personal goals are either not aligned or vocalized with corporate ones. What if you called your (virtual or in-person) team together for a bit of accountability and support? Is the manager going to work out over lunch instead of hearing complaints? Is Becky trying to have a “no-email zone” from 7:00-10:00 am? When you share your new processes with others you work or consistently interface with, you increase your chances of success. My new process for the year is no phone calls after 4 pm. When I take these calls, my children are often home from school and I either forget what was said or am worried about noise on the line. When I take calls early in the day, I remember to send notes and really focus on the call itself. I’ve already notified my coworkers and clients.

New Tech

Even if you aren’t one of the lucky ducks that received a new phone, computer or tablet this year, you can still take advantage of the new tech 2013 has to offer. In fact, much of it isn’t really new at all. I have found that I don’t really adopt new tools at the rate I used to and I believe that is to my detriment. Voice to text apps while I’m on my morning walk? Yes, please. With constant upgrades on software, new consumer and enterprise apps being developed daily and constant must-have lists, there is surely one new tech change you can make to your daily routine. I have been trying to incorporate Google+ into my sharing routine and took the last day in 2012 to go over the software and systems I am using and make all the updates. I also decided to print out and laminate shortcut cheat sheets that have saved a great deal of time. Need some ideas? Check out and IFTT to automate like…everything.  Make sure you check out the user manuals for your enterprise software or ask your rep to take you through a fresh demo, I bet there are new features you’re dying to try.

New Space

Clean, clear desktop. Fresh lines of notebook paper. Even my Facebook timeline somehow seems clearer. Even if you didn’t have a chance to de-clutter before 2012 was over, you can still organize your space and get rid of detritus post haste. The obvious tidying up has to do with “real life” but what about creating a new and organized Dropbox folder or using to tidy up your inbox? Is your desktop looking cluttered with screenshots and to-do items? If so, take 15 minutes to de-clutter so that you can start 2013 with a clear mind (and PC). My number one item? Begin syncing my project management tool of choice, Asana with Dropbox folders. They offer the integration now and it’s a no brainer.

New Ideas

I’ll be the first to tell you that the “predictions” lists are kind of “meh” this year. That is, they say the same things as last year, basically. However, there are some gems out there. Jobcast has an interesting one, as do I (yeah like I’m not gonna put mine in here) and Ihrim’s, while long, is good. New ideas are everywhere and as a cutting edge recruiter (which you are right?) you should want to pay attention to these. I work with a ton of vendors. Their primary goal in life is to get you, yes YOU, on a demo. So call up employee referral vendor Zao or Video Interviewing platform Wowzer or ATS vendor RecruiterBox or RMS provider Skillstream. Don’t get gamification? Call Badgeville. Confused about social sourcing? Check out Entelo. Need CRM tips? Ping Avature. My point is, all these companies (and many, many more – head to Software Advice and Capterra for list after list of HR Tech Products) are interested in educating you. Sure, they want to sell but they also want to get their concepts out to market and if you understand them you only bring valuable knowledge back to your firm or organization. Carve out 20 min a week for a new product demo. At the very least, it will give you questions to ask your OWN vendor community.

New Goals

I know that it’s a bit passe in some circles to create goals, but it’s my favorite part of the New Year. If you believe, even for just a few days, that you can radically alter something about yourself, that’s still pretty impressive! It’s a childlike feeling. So give it a shot. Can’t lose 20 lbs? How about 10? Don’t want to make 40 new calls a week? Maybe try for 15. Scared to attempt to learn a language? What about planning a trip to that country instead? My point is, goals have the inherent, beautiful quality of giving you new faith in yourself and that will impact your work positively for sure. I’m trying the Daily Burn.

Happy New Year!

By Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a consultancy offering marketing strategy and content development.