The New year usually comes with a desire to shell out tonnes of career resolutions to stimulate professional growth and career progression for the New Year. These career resolutions hover around things like landing a new job, changing careers, getting a pay rise, receiving an award of recognition or generally pursuing your dreams.
It’s okay to ride on the “New Year, new me” cliche but you should put more effort into setting SMART goals early in the year to drive your career towards the path of progression for the rest of the year.
The challenge of making New Year career resolutions is that the rejuvenated energy of starting a new year wears off on you quickly and if the goals set are not written somewhere, acted upon and consistently monitored, you risk going through the entire year feeling unfulfilled.
Execution is always key. Come up with your new year career goals, act on them and consistently carry out a self-audit all through the rest of the year. The following are excellent steps for career resolutions that can propel you into the new year on a very positive note.
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Come Up With a Career Resolutions Plan
The reason why most times, your new year career resolutions end up fizzling out into thin air is that there is no plan. You need a new job? Plan how to land a new job and act on it. When planning, it’s crucial to be very specific with the details on your plan and how you intend to achieve them. Let us put this into perspective – If a Nigerian named Gbenga plans to land a job in the new year, he needs to identify which industry he is interested in and the skills he needs to match the job openings when they come along.
Where Gbenga lacks skills but has an interest, the plan should be to find training(s) to help him scale up his skillset. He also needs to rewrite his CV and cover letters to suit the different jobs he would be applying for.
Spend time planning and figuring out the direction you want your career path to take. Write down daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks and targets that you wish to meet. You should also take time to regularly review what you have achieved so far. Planning ensures that you do not waiver along the way and lose track of your career objectives.
Follow Up With Action Plans
Dreams, they say, without action, is wishful thinking. You need to grow your career and not remain stuck at the same place in your career at the end of another 365 days. Map out your career plans and follow them up with actual actions. DOn’t do this just at the beginning of the year. Stay consistent with your plans all through the year.
Take on New Challenges
In making winning career resolutions for the new year, the whole purpose is to challenge yourself. It is only wise to take on a new challenge; this could be a new job or plans to upgrade your skills. When you take on new challenges, remember that even if things don’t work out, you have not failed. Rather, there will be valuable lessons to learn, which will drive you to improve yourself. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone because all you seek is on the other side of fear, act!
Strive to Acquire Relevant Skills
The world of work has changed and constantly changing with new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Job automation means being stuck to your present skills is a suicidal career move. Find the purpose to gain new skills in and outside your field. Nothing stops you from registering for professional courses or pursuing new degrees. This is an era of self-paced learning and the internet comes with an abundance of resources to help you grow.
Build Your Personal Brand
What is your personal brand? What do you want to be known for or identified with that makes you stand out in your chosen career path. You can achieve this by updating your CV, social media profiles and writing valuable content that position you an industry thought leader. This will help you pursue learning new things. Image building begins with change; change the way you are seen, change your wardrobe if it matters in the industry you belong to, upgrade your skill-set and pick up new hobbies that add value to your overall career.
Develop New Relationships
It is said the task of searching for a job becomes easier when you have a strong network. An important career resolution for the new year is to strengthen your career by building new relationships and a network of professionals in and around your industry. Join online industry professional groups on Linkedin, Facebook or forum discussions. They are an excellent way of developing new networks. Seek out professional events, connect with acquaintances that share your career vision and build relationships.
Take Advantage of Mentorship
Mentors help you develop while as a mentor, you can find someone to guide and support through mentoring. The domino effect ensures you grow and grow someone while you navigate your career plans for the year.
Develop an Exercise Routine
Health is wealth – Get in the habit of exercising and finding activities that rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Develop a daily, weekly schedule in your plan for this and commit to it. This impacts your performance on the job positively and you’ll lead a healthier life.
Commit to finishing your tasks and closing from work in good time without always working late. This helps you get sufficient rest time when you leave work and return the following day feeling refreshed. Don’t allow stress build up to a point where your productivity begins to suffer. Another important tip is to plan your leave and holidays and ensure you use them wisely.Don’t Limit Yourself.
The whole purpose of making resolutions is to steer you towards improving yourself. However, you have to set realistic yet challenging goals. If, for example, you want to become the head of your department within the year, ensure that you set out to do things that will help you to rise to that level in terms of capacity to take up the role. Do not limit yourself to the mundane. If you have been doing things inappropriately, this is the time to ensure that you get them right so that you can achieve the greater goal. Ensure that your goal pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Stay Committed to Your Career
After all, has been said and done, you need to stay committed. Commit yourself to set goals, processes that are working and a review of what is working and what isn’t working. Make the necessary changes for your career.
If you are a job seeker you need to stay resolute to the point of applying for several jobs, attending several interviews, researching as many opportunities as you can, working towards personal development and push until you finally land the kind of job you want.
If you’re employed, you need stay committed to the tasks; the boring stuff you wake up every morning and commute to work to do, which will cumulatively lead to getting you more work experience, better performance reviews, a promotion and landing new roles with better packages.
It’s important to make career resolutions in the new year but don’t follow the bandwagon of ‘all talk, no action.’ Results require work; smart and hard work. Having attractive goals on paper is not enough. You need to match the plan with relevant action. Get into the pile and dig deep.
Be accountable to yourself, be zealous and stay motivated. Opportunities always come but the big question is, will you plan and fail to implement or will you put in the work needed to make your goals become achievable? We wish you an amazing career this year.