A great new year starts with a fresh start. It’s a fun and exciting time that you get to spend with the people you love — friends, family, and kids. Maybe you’ll resolve to spend more time time doing fun activities with your family. Maybe you want to spend more time at the gym working toward your weight loss goals. Maybe you want to meet new people and completely revolutionize your life!
Regardless of your priorities, New Years is always a great time to set some career goals. These can include a wide array of resolutions, from achieving a more equal work-life balance to changing your perspective on the work itself. But if you’re looking for a place to start, here are seven New Year’s resolution ideas perfect for any career-oriented person:
1. Get organized.
This is a great resolution inside the office and out. Office organizing — or simply getting organized in general — can be a daunting task, especially if you let it build up — paper, receipts, stray Post-Its, trinkets, knick knacks, desktop files, etc. It can seem like a big, bad mess that is seemingly impossible to tidy.
But that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for — taking on the things you couldn’t or didn’t want to in the previous year and breaking those bad habits. So march into that office with a box and start throwing away old junk.
Sit down and go through the thousands of unread emails. Resolve to make better use of an online calendar. Eliminate all the unnecessary files on your desktop that are cluttering your screen. Give everything a wipe down: your desk, monitor, keyboard, and mouse; you’ll feel better knowing your desk space is a little less germy, and you can start the year with a fresh slate.
Getting organized will increase your focus and productivity both in and out of the office, and it’s an easy, simple, and life-changing task that will revolutionize the way you think about life and work. Ask for a raise.
Maybe you’ve been trying to get a raise for a few months, or maybe you’ve shied away from asking for one. Either way, the new year is the perfect time to become resolute in your goals and ambitions (just make sure you set a deadline for the goal!).
2. Ask for a raise.
Asking for a raise a great way to start taking your career more seriously by recognizing your value and advocating for yourself. If you’ve never asked for a raise before, this will be perfect practice for your career going forward. You deserve to be heard and respected, and negotiation skills are vital for any professional. Making one of your goals a determination to get compensated fairly makes you a priority not just in your eyes, but also in your employer’s.
3. Learn a new skill.
The new year is the perfect time to commit to learning a new skill, whether it pertains to your current career or your future aspirations. Maybe you want to take a course on project management. Maybe you want to attend a seminar on boosting your confidence and taking charge. Maybe you want to get rid of a bad habit. Maybe you want to learn how SEO works. There are many ways to make New Year’s your turning point!
Professionals should always be learning and growing. The fact that you’re no longer pursuing a formal education shouldn’t stop you. Take some time for yourself and expand your mind each and every day. This is a great way to make yourself an even more vital part of an organization’s infrastructure. The more you have to offer, the more a company will want to keep you.
4. Make your health a priority.
Toss out those old, outdated and stereotypical New Year’s resolutions about weight loss and hitting the gym and replace them with a resolution to take your health more seriously.
This means taking time for yourself. Go to sleep earlier. Maybe wake up a little later. Drink more water. Go to routine check-ups. Eat more vegetables. Drink less alcohol. Be more active — and that doesn’t mean necessarily getting a gym membership.
All of these little things will make you happier and healthier in the long run. And if you’re healthy, you’ll be able to better perform at work and prevent burning out. You can’t be at your best in your office if you’re sick or run down. And we tend to overwork ourselves as it is, skipping lunches and staying up late to finish big projects. But by committing to take your health and mental well-being more seriously you’ll be increasing your productivity, too.
5. Do more networking.
Just because you have a LinkedIn account doesn’t mean your networking is all taken care of.
You need to continuously make connections, start conversations, and grow your professional network. These are habits you can’t lose. Not only can this help you learn new skills and grow your knowledge, but it can also help you stay ahead of the game and gain knowledge before others, and it might even open up to an opportunity down the line. Maybe that’s for another position or job, or maybe its for a future opportunity your company needs help with. Either way, making networking a career priority and resolution will put you in an even better place as far as your career is concerned. And these interpersonal skills are invaluable. It won’t happen in a single day or week, but you’ll notice the difference down the line.
6. Quit your job.
This is a big one. If you hate your job, your boss, or the field you’re working in, quitting your job could be the thing that skyrockets you into your dream career. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. And don’t let comfort hold you back either if you know you aren’t getting the skills and experience you need to grow. It is a stressful thing to do and to think about for sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Take a risk. Make yourself and your future a priority. You’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders once you do. And then you can really pursue your passions and your dreams.
7. Learn to better accept criticism.
Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has something to learn. But sometimes, accepting these criticisms can be painful. Maybe you get angry, maybe you ignore them, or maybe you get emotional — whatever your way of dealing with criticism is, it can probably be better. Take the New Year to change your perspective on accepting criticism to be more productive and worthwhile. Make it a point to learn from these critiques and change your bad habits. Accept the critiques with actual, genuine interest and a positive attitude. More often than not, criticism isn’t meant to hurt your feelings or tear you down.