Human resources is a rewarding profession that can have tremendous impact on your organization. Many…
This is a time for you to look back on the previous year, reflect on where you’ve come from, and set goals for your future. Setting clear goals is an important step if you want to improve your career in the new year. Here are 31 New Year’s resolutions for your career that will help make you even more productive than ever before:
1. Assess your weaknesses.
If you have any weaknesses, it’s important to work on them so that you’re less of a risk in the eyes of superiors. The best way to do this is by asking for feedback from your co-workers or supervisor. They may even bring up these issues themselves! If not, it’s best to be proactive and ask:
- “Could you tell me what I could improve on?”
- “What would help me improve my performance?”
In order to better understand why there might be an issue with your work or behavior, ask open-ended questions like:
- “What were your biggest challenges during that project/week?”
- “How could I improve my performance next time we do a project together?”
2. Boost your confidence by working on communication skills, positivity, and passion.
- Communication skills. Improve your communication skills by becoming more aware of non-verbal cues, such as tone and body language. You can also practice the art of active listening in order to better understand what others are saying to you.
- Positivity. Stay positive and focus on your goals.
- Passion. Find activities that you’re passionate about and then incorporate them into your work life—even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day at first! This will help boost your confidence, which may help make it easier for you to stand up for yourself when needed or get things done no matter how big or small they may be.
3. Spend time with mentors, career counselors, and coaches who can help you reach your goals.
As an example, if you want to be a better computer programmer in the New Year, it might not hurt to take a few classes or read some books on the subject. But if you want to become a great computer programmer—if your goal is not only to be able to code but also to enjoy doing it—then consider spending some time with other programmers who have achieved success at their jobs.
Don’t just ask friends and acquaintances what they think of certain software packages; ask them how they got into the field in the first place, and what kind of training courses they took while they were learning. If someone seems like a good mentor candidate because he or she has been successful as an independent coder (rather than working for someone else), offer him or her money in exchange for mentoring services (in order for both parties to stay legal).
You may even find yourself with friends who can serve as “mentors” without any financial incentive at all! This will help ensure that one day soon we’ll all be using computers made by really great programmers who share our values about work ethic and human decency.”
4. Set clear goals for yourself for the next two months, six months, and year (and stick to them).
You should also set small goals that will help progress towards that big dream. These might be intrapersonal, interpersonal or professional goals – whatever works best for you. For example, if your long-term goal is to become a project manager but you have no experience managing projects, then some short-term goals would be: “I will complete five hours of additional training” or “I will ask my boss how I can get involved in one project as an observer” or “I will read up on successful project management processes online.”
5. Find ways to stand out at work.
If there’s any project or idea in which you have an interest and could bring value, volunteer for it. If not, look around and see if there are any areas where things could be improved or streamlined—then create a plan on how they could be improved or streamlined. Even if it doesn’t work out as expected or approved by management, it shows that you’re willing and able to step up when needed.
6. Learn how to better manage your time.
As you want to be seen as a dependable person, it’s important that you understand how to better manage your time so you stay focused on top priorities at work.
7. Organize and update resume, CV, and cover letters.
You’ll need to update your resume and cover letters, as well as complete any applications for jobs you’re interested in. Organize your documents so they are easy to find and use. Make sure all of the information is up-to-date, accurate, and detailed. If you have a website or social media presence that highlights your skills and experience, include links to those sites on your resume or CV so potential employers can learn more about you there.
If you want to include volunteer work on your resume or CV, make sure it’s relevant—for example: “Volunteered 10 hours per week at soup kitchen during college.” If it’s not related at all (for example: Volunteered 20 hours per week at thrift store while in high school), leave it off completely because it will look like extracurricular activities rather than job experience unless there is an obvious connection between the two things you’re doing (like working at a thrift store while volunteering).
8. Optimize LinkedIn profile and online reputation management.
Your LinkedIn profile is your first impression to a recruiter or potential employer. It’s like your online resume and can be updated at any time. There are plenty of tips and tricks to help you optimize this profile, including using a professional photo that showcases your skills, uploading old work samples (this is trickier than it sounds), customizing the web address by adding “/profile” after your name in the URL field so that it redirects to your profile, adding keywords related to jobs you’re interested in (e.g., marketing associate), updating education information if applicable and listing organizations or groups that have been important to you professionally as well as socially.
In addition to optimizing profiles, there are other ways employers can gain insight into our work ethic based on how we use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter—two of which usually include photos taken during vacations far away from one’s cubicle desk job! Be aware of how others perceive this type of behavior since some might consider it unprofessional while others won’t care either way because they simply don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors at various companies around town.”
9. Improve your leadership skills.
There are many different kinds of leaders, but all of them share a similar skill set: they know how to get things done and inspire others to do the same. This can be a difficult area for some people, but with practice and perseverance, anyone can become a more effective leader! It’s important not just for work but also for life in general because leading effectively is an essential part of being happy, healthy and successful in any environment.
10. Learn a new skill.
If you want to get ahead in your career, you need to develop new skills. In addition to the obvious ones—like learning how to code—this can also mean developing leadership skills, communication and management skills, problem solving abilities, and more. No matter what field you’re in or what level in your company’s hierarchy you’re at, there are always things that can help you be better at your job.
11. Get organized in your office.
If you want to make the most of your professional year, it’s important to start by getting organized. This way, all of your work can be stored in one place and easily accessible for when you need it.
Organizing your office space also has the added benefit of making it feel less chaotic and overwhelming. This will help boost productivity and motivation while working on projects or assignments that require long hours at a desk!
12. Become a better public speaker.
This is one of the most common resolutions to make, and for good reason: it’s something that we all have to do at some point, whether that’s giving a presentation at work or giving an interview for a new job. If you’re not comfortable speaking in front of people, then this resolution can be incredibly helpful.
If this applies to you, consider signing up for a class on public speaking or taking an online course that teaches confidence building and techniques for speaking with poise.
13. Network with others more often.
One of the best ways to strengthen your professional network is by attending conferences, workshops and events. These can help you meet new people and make connections in your field. Make an effort to attend at least one event per month this year.
14. Learn to delegate tasks better.
This is one of the most important skills you can develop, and it has a huge impact on your personal and professional life. As a manager or supervisor, delegating tasks will allow you to accomplish more with less stress, which means that you’ll be able to focus on the projects that really matter. As an employee, delegating tasks will help you advance in your career by demonstrating your leadership capabilities and helping others succeed.
15. Stop worrying about things that don’t matter as much as they used to.
We all have moments where we worry about something—like whether our boss will like us or if we’ll get into college—but sometimes these worries become so overwhelming that they’re difficult to manage and stop us from living our best lives. This year I’m going to try my hardest not only because these worries are unproductive but also because there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an endless loop of anxiety!
16. Give yourself time to relax and recharge.
If you’ve been working really hard this past year, it’s important to give yourself some time to relax and recharge. The best way to do that? Take a break from work and spend time with your friends and family. You’ll have plenty of time in the future for work when you’re ready for it, so make sure not to burn out on this one!
17. Focus on learning new things.
Invest in yourself. Learn new skills, take on a new project and pursue goals that will elevate your career.
You could start by:
- Learning how to code. With the rise in demand for software developers and engineers, it’s never been easier to learn programming languages like Python or Ruby on Rails. There are tons of great resources available online for free. Plus, it’ll look good on your resume!
- Learning how to manage your finances better with an understanding of financial literacy—or even just setting up automatically-deducted 401k contributions and investing in low-fee index funds through an app like Acorns or Betterment (which are both free). The earlier you start planning for retirement and contributing into it regularly, the better off you’ll be when those years do come around!
18. Meditate more in the New Year, especially when it comes to problem solving or relieving stress at work.
If you’re a busy professional who has trouble making time for meditation, try meditating while you drive to work or while taking a walk at lunchtime. Then, set aside 15 minutes before going to bed each night for meditation and quiet reflection on your day’s events. This will help clear your mind of any lingering stressors so that you can sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead.
19. Try out a few hobbies.
Try out a few hobbies this year, until you find one that you really love doing and can do for fun or as self-improvement practice on the weekends or after work hours.
Hobbies are a great way to stay in shape, improve your creativity and build new skills. They’re also a great way to meet people who share similar interests with you. Try learning how to play an instrument, learn how to speak another language or take up painting as part of your hobby this year!
20. Find any motivational readings that speak to you and keep them close by, to read every day for inspiration or during stressful times at work.
You might think that reading motivational books or blog posts is a waste of time, but this could not be further from the truth. When you feel like giving up on your goals, it is important to remind yourself why you want to achieve them so badly. There are many ways to do this. You could create a vision board and pin it somewhere where you will see it every day, like your fridge or bulletin board in an office hallway. You could also keep images and quotes on your phone that inspire you, so they’re easy to look at when needed.
If these ideas aren’t quite doing it for you, try writing down your reasons for wanting a new job in detail! What does the new role offer? What are the responsibilities? How will taking on those challenges help improve both personally and professionally?
21. Join a professional network like LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a great place to find jobs, and it’s also a great way to stay in touch with people you’ve worked with in the past. This is especially important if you have ever moved between companies or countries, as there will be some people who you may not have had any contact with since then.
22. Expand your network by joining two professional networks.
Join professional networks to expand your network and find mentors. Professional networks are a great way to meet people who share your interests, business goals, or location. You can also use them as an opportunity for networking and expanding your overall network. For example, if you’re interested in working in non-profits but don’t know anyone who works in that field, joining your local Chamber of Commerce will help you connect with people who work in the same industry as you and get involved with groups that interest you.
Use professional networks as a way to get connected and build relationships with others working in similar industries/fields or even just across town so that when it comes time for referrals or recommendations they will be more likely to think of you first!
23. Make sure that you have a professional email address that contains your name in it (e.g.: JohnSmith@gmail.com).
When it comes to your career, you need to have a professional email address that contains your name in it (e.g.: JohnSmith@gmail.com). It’s important to remember that you are going for an interview for a job because you want the company to hire you and not the other way around. This is why having a professional email address is very important as it shows that you take yourself seriously and want everyone else to take you seriously too.
24. Identify people who can help you achieve that goal.
Reach out to them to ask how they might help. When they agree, let them know how they will be helping by being specific as you can be. Talk about what you want to accomplish, and why it is important for you (not just for their company). You can ask if there is any way they would be willing to assist in this process (this will make it easier for both of you).
25. Review what you have already learned in previous jobs or education programs.
Consider seeking out educational opportunities at those places to learn more things that could help you reach your goals in the future.
- What skills did you learn from previous positions?
- How could they be applied to your next job?
- What other educational opportunities might be available through your current employer?
26. Set aside time each day to focus on accomplishing something toward reaching your career goal(s).
You need to set aside time each day to focus on accomplishing something toward reaching your career goal(s). This may be as simple as offering to help a colleague, or it could be anything from taking a course online to attending an event where you can network with others in the industry.
27. Consider using some of the above time set aside for meeting your career goals to learn new skills (through reading, watching videos, attending classes, etc.).
This can be especially helpful if you’re the kind of person who is easily distracted by social media or other online activities. Even if it seems like there’s not enough time in the day for everything else on your plate, this small commitment can make a huge difference in helping you reach those goals.
28. Improve communication and interpersonal skills.
This is a great goal to have, because communication is an essential skill for any job. It’s important to be able to clearly convey your ideas and make them understood by others. The ability to communicate effectively with coworkers and clients can help you build partnerships, win trust, and strengthen existing relationships.
29. Proactively seek new career opportunities.
As you pursue your career goals, be sure to proactively seek out opportunities that are aligned with your interests and strengths. If you don’t know how to make that happen, try these strategies:
- Be an active job seeker by staying in touch with the job market through networking and other forms of communication such as social media.
- Look into available jobs in new industries, ones outside of your geographic area or even ones that might seem unrelated at first glance.
- Identify companies whose products or services are interesting to you and learn more about them (e.g., visit their website).
30. Take a class or complete a course (or two) for professional development.
If you have a goal of learning something new, then this is the perfect time to take a class or complete a course. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to sit down and really focus on your professional development.
There are so many options out there for online classes, but if you prefer face-to-face learning, there are also plenty of local resources available. There are even some organizations that offer free courses open to everyone!
If you’re looking for suggestions on what types of classes/courses might be right for you, consider taking:
- A course that focuses on improving communication and collaboration skills (for example: “Communication Skills for Leaders” or “Leadership Development Program”)
- An accounting certificate (such as those offered by University of Illinois Extension)
31. Cultivate mentorships and build your inner circle of advisors / trusted colleagues.
The most important thing you can do is to cultivate mentorships and build your inner circle of advisors/trusted colleagues. These relationships will help you navigate through the ups and downs of your career, as well as provide you with an ear to listen when things aren’t going so great. You’ll also be able to seek counsel when it comes time for big decisions, like what job offer or next career move should be made.
A mentor relationship isn’t just about being a mentee; it’s about being a friend, coach, and supporter who is there for each other in good times and bad. Mentorships are not forever—they come in all different sizes and shapes—but they’re always worth having because they make us better versions of ourselves
Career goals are a great way to start the new year. They can help you set some short term and long term goals for yourself in your career. Focus on a few at a time so it is not too overwhelming and difficult. This will help keep you on track throughout this year, and into the next one!