‘Tis the season… to come up with all the ways your life will be better, more healthy, and more profitable next year. In a few weeks, all our best intentions will kick in and we’ll be ready for changes. Some may stick, and some may not, but it’s always good to have a plan.
Here are some resolutions you can dedicate yourself to in order to boost your career in 2019.
Resolutions to boost your career in the coming year
Resolve to be more accountable
The reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail is that although we’re great at coming up with things we need and want to improve, actually getting the work done tends to get lost in the realities of everyday life and routine. If you want to make lasting changes to your professional fortunes in 2019, start by committing to a set of (reasonable) goals. If you lay out your goals and write down the steps you’ll need to take to get there, you’re more likely to stick to them. Setting small goals along the way and having the satisfaction of ticking them off makes distant year-long goals seem more attainable and may keep you on the right path.
Resolve to take the next step in your career, even if you’re not ready to quit
“Find a new job” is a pretty common resolution. But if you don’t want to leave your job, job hunting isn’t the only way to move up. Think about what it will take to get a promotion in your current gig. What skills will you need? Start working on those. What does that next step look like? Talk to your boss and let him or her know that you’re looking to take the next step, and discuss your options for taking on more responsibilities, getting more training, or doing whatever you need to do to level up.
Resolve to be less stressed
Work stress is not only an impediment to your goals, but it can also damage your health and overall happiness. Resolve to find good outlets for work stress. Maybe it’s a new hobby. Maybe it’s arriving at work half an hour early to have some peaceful time before emails need answering and coworkers start arriving for the day. Whatever would help you feel more calm and centered when things are chaotic, try to build some of it into your routine on a daily basis.
Resolve to build your network
Your professional network is one of the best assets you have in your career. It can be a sounding board, or a pipeline to new opportunities. Unfortunately, social media is a double-edged sword here—it makes it easier to add people to your network, but also easier to keep those relationships shallow and stagnant without having to put in much effort.
To get the most out of your network, build relationships outside of Facebook likes and LinkedIn notifications. Start with your existing network and think about which relationships you’d like to polish. If you live in the same area as a key contact, have lunch with that person every few months. If you’re distant, drop an email to get a conversation going.
If you want to make your network bigger, set a goal of adding X number of new contacts per month—maybe find friends of friends who work in industries or at companies you’re interested in, or join professional meetups or other communities.
Resolve to take more risks
One of the best things you can do, career-wise, is take a chance on new opportunities. This could mean taking on tasks or projects that are new to you, or attempting a new job that’s outside of your comfort zone. That’s not to say you should quit your job tomorrow and go where the job market takes you, but at least be willing to consider making changes outside your routine.
The “new year, new you” novelty and enthusiasm may last about as long as your new January gym routine. However, if you approach them realistically and with commitment, the goals you set for your career now can help set you up for a whole year of successes and learning opportunities.