Instead of committing to the gym or jumping on a trendy diet again, make a new year’s resolution that will help further your career.
Whether it is learning a new skill, updating a resume or even landing a promotion, consider a resolution that you’ll be more likely to work towards.
Here are 10 career-based resolutions to help you ring in 2014:
1. Increase Organization
Start with a clean desk. Being organized can make you feel productive and work more efficiently. Before you leave the office, clean finished projects off the desk, create a to-do pile for the next day and find a place for ongoing projects. Invest in a desktop or online calendar for appointments, meetings and deadlines so that you never feel frazzled or lost for time. In addition to calendars and planners, there are a plethora of productivity apps to help you keep on task.
2. Learn a New Skill
Having a wide range of skills at your disposal can be vital to career growth. According to CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International, the most in-demand skills for 2014 are software development, market research, training and development, and financial analysis. Find a vital skill related to your field or industry and learn it by attending a workshop, taking a class, conducting research, or networking. Make sure you tell your boss you’re learning it! Your superior will certainly appreciate the extra time you’re investing in improving yourself.
3. Understand Company Goals
Understand your employer’s strategic plan and align your goals with the company. Company goals often change annually. Familiarize yourself with the plan for the upcoming year and know how your role fits into the big picture.
Join a professional organization, attend a conference, or mingle at networking events in your area. Two great online networking tools for meeting like-minded people are LinkedIn and Meetup. Both sites are two excellent places to start.
5. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Be ready for the next career move with a current resume. Remember your resume is about more than just employers and dates; be sure to highlight significant projects, skills, awards and successes. Next, create (or update) your LinkedIn profile. A recent Forbes article explains why having a LinkedIn profile is essential for your career.
6. Get a New Job or Promotion
If you are unhappy in your current role, now is the time to do something about it! Once your resume is ready and your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, start looking for that job or promotion that you are dreaming about. If you are beginning to look for a new job while employed, be sure to search smartly.
7. Improve Work-Life Balance
Don’t forget about your home life in the pursuit of a career. Work-life balance is the key to being a happier and more productive employee. Start by scheduling all of your vacations. The key is setting a date and making actual plans, as this will give you something to look forward to. Another tip is to turn off your phone and email for a few hours a day to allow yourself the chance to relax and disconnect from your work. Lastly, try to take on every task with a smile. Smiling is proven to be good for you!
8. Communicate Better
Make it a priority to respond to questions, phone calls and emails. It can be overwhelming to tackle a pile of messages, but responding as they come will help you manage the load and make the person contacting you feel more important. If you can’t handle a request right away, be honest. Tell them that you’ve received the email and give a timetable for when you will be able to complete the task.
9. Manage Up
It is important to understand your role in the way both you and your manager see it. Be proactive and make sure your boss knows what you are doing. An effective way to do this is to track your time and submit your timesheet to your boss. This will help you and your boss see how you are spending your working hours and will give you the insight you need to properly allocate time for tasks.
10. Reduce Stress
The first step to reducing stress is understanding it. Start simple and work up to big problems with small steps such as organization, getting more sleep or exercise, or talking out an issue with a co-worker. By tackling issues head on, you are less likely to allow stress to build up. Know your stress triggers and work toward strategies that put you at ease.