10 New Year Resolutions to Rock Your Career

 

 

Have you started making your new year resolutions yet?

We create many for fitness and make others to try and stop bad habits.

But have you given a thought to what plans to make for your career?

 

You spend most of your waking hours at work. If you are feeling disillusioned or feel that your work is slowly draining your soul away, you need to plan and change.

And each new year that passes is another year not spent growing into positions you wish for. You deserve better, so start the new year off with these 10 new year resolutions.

 

Set a strategic stretch goal

For starters, set goals that you can realistically reach within six months. It must be doable and not impossible.

But make sure that it is something that will stretch you out, test your comfort zone. For a goal to act as a milestone, it must push you up a notch. Only then will you feel a level of accomplishment, and you can use this experience as proof and fuel for your next stretch goal.

It is important to have daily and weekly reminders and smaller goals to hit. These will combine and give you momentum and paint a picture of where you versus your set vision.

And most importantly, make your stretch goal meaningful. Think about what truly motivates you. What is that thing that sparks interest, where it combines with your core talents and dreams? A goal that can connect your passion and key skills does half the job for you, as it will act as a driving force to get things done.

 

Understand your organisation’s goals

Within your organization, how well do you know the overall business objectives? What objectives are deemed more important?

How does your role contribute to your company’s objectives? Is it lead generating, or brand awareness?

Take some time to ask and review your role and what it entails. Finding out how you fit into the big picture will help you focus your efforts on doing what counts. It will also shed clarity on where you need to push your efforts towards, or even move across to other business functions if you see an opportunity.

 

Look for your next promotion

I rarely hear of opportunities and promotions falling into the laps of those that wait. Excelling in your job is a given. But understanding the next step is the key to career success.

Career pathing is essential in landing promotions, where it also helps you remain engaged in your work. Make sure to have talks with your team leader or manager on the next big project or challenge.

If you find nothing forthcoming in your workplace, it may be time to look for a new role.

The most important point here is what you find. If there are no opportunities, take it as a signal to look elsewhere. Inaction will lead to the path of stagnation and no growth.

 

Manage upwards

Be on the same page as your manager. Proactively schedule discussions to make sure you are meeting or smashing your targets. Don’t assume management is paying close attention to your projects. There are bad managers, and most are too busy to check up on you unless you chase them up.

Don’t wait for the performance review day to find out if you are on the right track. It is partly your responsibility to make sure you are in sync with what your managers want.

 

Manage across

Make an effort to communicate with your peers. Understand their roles and how they get things done. Don’t form closed groups based on departments and comfort levels.

You never know who you might work with in the future, or who you might be reporting to. Your relationships will bring in favors and help in times of need.

 

Take a risk

Try and jump forward and do something entirely out of your comfort zone. Don’t wait till you are older and look back with regret. The ‘if only…’ or ‘I wish…’ are statements you don’t want to make when looking back over your career in your mature years.

For millennials, try and look at taking risks in your career as something you can fix up quickly. You will not be able to make significant investments of your time and energy in your later years. It can lead to unexpected opportunities and new doors opening.

 

Grab a mentor

Anyone in their 30s or their junior years, finding a mentor is a great way to gain insight into someone with more experience and success than yourself.

Find someone that you can identify with, where you want to be where they are in ten years. Go out and have coffee chats and find out how they got to where they are.

You may not necessarily be able to replicate or use what they share, but forging relationships is always valuable.

 

Create your process

Everyone has their way of doing things. You work in specific ways, unconsciously making different choices to others.

Have you ever tried putting it down on paper, creating your very own process? It is time to do so and sharpen what you do well by thinking and doing some research. It will help show areas you need development in and shed light on your blind spots, especially if you look at how leaders operate.

Doing this will help you organize your work and life. It will add a layer of organization and efficiency that will be part of your brand, adding value for you both in your career and personal life.

 

Have an action plan

Planning isn’t natural to everyone. But if one thing deserves and needs a plan, it is your career. And we all know a lot of new year resolutions are fluffy and never come to fruition. Rather than having a rigid plan set in stone, have an action plan that is flexible and built upon the reality of what you can do today.

Below are a few steps to consider when planning your career resolutions.

 

  1. Spend time to think about where you want to be in a few years.
  2. Be specific with your goals, and make sure they are stretch goals, challenging but doable.
  3. Have copies of your resolutions, so that you can easily view them at home and have a copy on you, like on your smartphone.
  4. Think long term, and make sure to understand that mishaps will happen. Key here is getting back on track.
  5. Share your goals with your friends and loved ones. Ask your mentor or people you respect for feedback consistently.
  6. Make sure to measure and track your triumphs.
  7. Celebrate your victories and share it with others.
  8. Have times where you review and tweak what you are doing.
  9. Consider the best environment in which you work and keep those places/times sacred.
  10. Don’t lie to yourself. The most prominent achievement sometimes is facing things head on, and not fooling yourself with a false sense of accomplishment.

 

Track and measure your success

I mentioned tracking and measuring your goals throughout previous points. This is not something that comes naturally to many, least of all to myself. But often the biggest area many of us fail in is tracking what we do efficiently.

The reason why measuring and tracking your goals, whether they are big or small is critical is because you can review and see where your weaknesses and strengths lie.

Once you begin to track and measure your work, you will see two underlying themes.

 

  1. Instances of poor execution.
  2. High spikes of execution.

 

Knowing when you execute poorly is terrific as it gives you data to look deeper. What factors led to this? Was it where I was working? What did I do differently to produce such poor results?

The opposite can be said of when you exceed your own expectations. What induced this high performance? What factors could be recreated to produce these results again?

 

Next is knowing what exactly needs measuring. Not all things are equal, and not all things need to be measured. You need to measure what is directly linked to your career goals and focus on that. Trying to measure every little thing you do will lead to confusion.

It is all about testing what works for you.

 

My hope is that these 10 tips will help and inspire you to plan and reach your career goal in the new year of 2018, where you realize your goals at the end of this year.

 

What are your career resolutions this new year? How do you control and keep track of your efforts?

Share your insights and advice in the comments section below.

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