7 professional New Year's resolutions that will jumpstart your career in 2017
2017 is just around the corner and it’s a great time to make some professional resolutions to boost your career in the coming year. Take stock and think about what you’d like to accomplish next year and how you’ll stick to your goals. A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to bring about change. It should fill you with the determination and strength to face new challenges in the year ahead.
What Makes a Good Resolution?
Making resolutions is easy… keeping them, not so much. Before you begin your list, consider some characteristics of a successful resolution:
- Make sure it’s realistic: If you set a goal you can actually reach, you’re more likely to stick with it. Maybe you take one class at a time instead of three; or you plan to make 5% more money, not 20%. It should not feel impossible to do and you should still be able to meet your basic needs along the way while maintaining your well-being.
- Make a specific resolution: If you want to "do better" in your job, what does that mean? Will you make more money? How much more? Will you learn a new skill? What is it and how will you learn it? Be specific so you can actually measure your progress.
- Make sure you’re accountable to someone: Having a partner in your goals helps you to stay focused and will push you when you need it.
- Make it personal: The goal you make has to be important to you, not something someone else simply recommends. That will keep you on track when the going gets tough.
7 New Year’s Resolutions that will boost your career
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is the co-founder of SixFigureStart Career Coaching and has worked with executives from American Express, Goldman Sachs, Condé Nast, Gilt, eBay, Google, and other leading firms, is an author of three books and teaches Professional Development and Negotiation at Columbia University. She suggests that resolutions are a good time to think about how we want our careers to be better and stronger in 2017. Here are some of her ideas for your New Year’s resolutions:
- Improve your online presence: Update your profile on all your professional platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) and post about relevant topics and trends in your area of expertise. Upload a current photo and expand your network when you can.
- Stay in touch with your contacts: Reach out to contacts with your holiday cards and meet up with new people throughout the year. Once a week, use your lunch break to re-connect with those you don’t see often and to reach out to new contacts.
- Maintain your energy and well-being: Hospitality is an emotionally as well as physically demanding job. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t perform at your best and you’ll be too exhausted to learn new things or take on new challenges. Carve out some time each day to pursue a hobby or enjoy some recreation to recharge your body and mind.
- Commit to staying focused: Be sure you make time to pursue your new goals and concentrate on what will get you there. Those are the things that often are dropped when fatigue sets in and you’re feeling a little burnt out from the daily grind.
- Stay marketable: You have to commit to growing and developing in your career to maintain and improve your value. Keep your skills updated and develop relationships with recruiters in your field. It also means keeping your profiles current and learning any new technologies that apply to your area of expertise.
- Ask for what you want: Learning to ask for what you want is an important skill for future growth in your career. Practice by finding opportunities to ask for training, to attend a conference or requesting feedback to help you improve your performance.
- Keep an open mind: Resolve to keep you options open. Speak to recruiters when they call, look at LinkedIn invitations from people you may not recognize and be open to accepting new assignments outside your normal duties.
Kick off the New Year by really thinking about your job and how you’d like it to evolve in the coming years. Take time to determine what makes you happy in your current position and what you would like to change. Is this what you want to be doing or is it helping you reach your goals?
What changes do you need to make to work toward a promotion or transition to your next position? Advancing your career is a year-round process, but why not use the momentum of the new year to kick-start your success?