Every year we make resolutions and promise ourselves to fulfill them, but most of the time we break these resolutions. This year, we are going to do something different. For starters, we will make resolutions and actually keep them! However, most of all, this year our resolutions won’t be goals related to our weight, habit of smoking, or binge watching GOT. It’s 2018, and the year calls for some serious action on your professional goals. You need as much motivation and appreciation in your career as you hope to get in your personal life, but for that you need to work on your career goals. So, here are a few resolutions for you to keep this year. Let’s begin with all and see by the end of the year how many of them you could actually fulfill.
- Build relationships
Fun things first! Who doesn’t like to socialize, build healthy relationships, except if you are an introvert, but that doesn’t mean you cannot connect with people. Social media offers amazing opportunities for you to get in touch with people from your field and share knowledge with them. Recall the names of people from your university, your mentors, ex-colleagues, and even interns at that company you may have been in touch with. Look them up on LinkedIn and try to build up connections. They will help you endorse your skills as well as be visible to possible recruiters from your industry.
Resolution Trick: You don’t have to make 100 connections in one day. Do add people on your social media accounts, but besides this, make sure to choose one person and get in touch directly with him, either face to face, through email, or on call, to discuss a new idea/project, ask a question, or just to bond over a game of pool.
- Make a check list for each month of the year
We love making lists, especially a list of all that we want to do and achieve. However, this time we will make a check list for every month of the year. This will help us stick to our resolutions and make few small ones every month. By the time we reach end of February, we start expecting a raise and a promotion, without ever considering if our performance has been actually worth it. Through this list you can check every month for career complacency, what is motivating you (or not), and whether you have made any improvements or accomplishments in that month. Depending on the industry in which you are (or are willing to move in to), try to add a simple but useful accomplishment. For example, instead of writing ‘learn French’ in your list, you can add: ‘By March finish first 5 basic lessons in French.’ This may help you actually accomplish your goals.
Resolution Trick: Make three columns for every month, one for adding a goal to finish, one to check on the previous goals and backlogs on your resolutions, and third one to write what you actually did (accomplished goals or even those achievements not included in the previous plan). Also, keep January reserved for making these decisions, adapting to changes, and getting into the habit of working on your new schedule. This will decrease the failure rate later on.
- Fill your Calendar
The first month of every year, the internet is filled with new events and offers on courses. Look out for important conferences related to your field which you can attend, a vocational course you can take up, online magazines and blogs or career podcasts that you can subscribe to, workshops you can take, and people you can meet that may help you build your career. Now, mark your phone calendars or note down in your journal the important or tentative dates/months. Make sure to include in your monthly check list anything that may help you successfully go forward with the scheduled Calendar. For example, if there’s an advanced level workshop happening in June, you can ensure that you go through the basics and get a knowledge of the intermediate level in the previous months. You can keep filling up the calendar as and when you are notified of new events, live chats, etc.
Resolution Trick: Do not include anything you may not be looking forward to in the end. For instance, choose conferences from places you can actually travel to, include people who can actually be ready to meet you and provide you with assistance, and do not add more than 1 or 2 online blog/magazine names which you are actually going to follow.
- Make room for new things & new goals
De-cluttering is the first step to moving into the New Year and if you haven’t done it so far, you may want to start with it now. Not because it’s fun, but because it is important to make space for all the new things you wish to do. De-cluttering does not necessarily mean that you need to clean your office cupboards and tidy up your desks. What it actually means is removing negative energy from your life, breaking contacts with those who always de-motivate you (yes, it may sound harsh, but come on, don’t they ever realize how harsh it is to underestimate you all the time), breaking off habits that are affecting you negatively professionally (such as office gossip, feeling hurt every time your boss rejects your idea, or talking negatively about your work), and trying to move past your excuses to actually realize your potential and move on to accomplish your goals.
Resolution Trick: For every new habit you include in your ‘to do this year’ list, you need to make some time to actually do it by removing some unnecessary things you do through-out the day. Without time, a plan, and the will to actually accomplish something, your goals are useless. For every bad habit you want to drop, replace it with a better and more useful habit.
- Give your resume an update
Remember, the first time you made your resume. It was probably copied from a friend who copied it from another friend who used his elder brother’s resume. Well, whether you believe it or not, your resume is outdated. It may have worked last time you got this job, and you may not even be looking for another job, but giving your resume a makeover is important. But wait a minute, we were actually talking about updating your resume, not just making it over. Whether you are going to change the look of your resume or not is a secondary thing, what you need this year is to add some accomplishments to your CV, add a sample cover letter (to be updated later when you actually apply to a company) related to your industry and skills, and remove your high school achievements, especially if you are no longer a fresher.
Resolution Trick: Aim on doing things this year which you can actually include in your CV & yes, even online courses count! Highlight your key achievements and accomplished projects. Search online for CVs of successful people in your field and it may give you some inspiration as well as a few serious goals to keep up with. If you are enthusiastic enough, you may want to get on with an online portfolio.
- Take on a new challenge
Resolutions are boring and never easy to accomplish, but that’s only because we always make resolutions for the things which we keep on putting off, or those which are actually truly boring! Every year we fall into a pattern of a predictable routine, which tends to turn monotonous, doesn’t excite our brain to go that extra mile as well as affects our creativity and our learning ability. You may have heard-“What scares you, will grow you!” Well, it’s true. Take up a challenge. It can be something big related to your field of work like working on a project all by yourself, starting your own website or blog, or something fun like an adventure sport (yes, that will help you too, not directly in your career, but it will help you refresh your mind, and strike the work-life balance). You can even make it small and simple, like finishing off a ‘puzzle’ (read: logical reasoning) book all by yourself, or making it a routine to do the weekly crossword. Besides this, try to do something which is out of your comfort zone at work, for example, giving a presentation at a meeting, eating lunch with your colleagues instead of at your desk by yourself, or even taking up new responsibilities. Just take the initiative, get noticed, and get appreciated.
Resolution Trick: First, think about the things you have always wanted to do, but were too hesitant to go for or always thought yourself not capable of doing it. Prepare in your own time and the next place you get an opportunity, stop your brain from discouraging you and do it! Just taking the initiative may get you all the appreciation. Moreover, most of the people around you may not even be as good at the task as you thought and may really like your efforts!
- Embrace optimism
Positivity is very important to keep your mind motivated and driven to learn, explore, and innovate. Only a healthy and un-stressed mind can help you achieve your goals and be successful. Start by sleeping on time, waking up a little early and exercising. Remember that a good breakfast is the best start to any day. Being punctual, and making a list in your head of all the things you need to do that day may help you stay organized and finish tasks before the deadline. Don’t forget to take breaks to meditate and refresh your mind time to time with simple yet out of the ordinary activities, like painting, going to a library to read, taking a walk in the nearby park and appreciating the natural beauty, or volunteering for a social cause.
Resolution Trick: Just start doing it! Ban your mind from making any excuses and start discovering a more confident and wiser you. After all, it’s the New Year, and it needs a ‘New You’!
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