The calendar flipping over to the new year is the perfect time for everyone to take a step back and evaluate the things in their life they’d like to improve. But resolutions don’t have to just be for curbing bad habits or getting to the gym. Many working professionals create a list of career New Year’s resolutions as well. Whether you’re just starting yours or are a seasoned veteran, there’s always room for growth. Here are my top ten career resolutions for the new year.
This is the year I will finally take a proper headshot for my LinkedIn page as well as add some photos of recent projects to my timeline. It also wouldn’t hurt to clean up the “other” social media sites. Employers and new connections look much deeper than just a resume these days. If I can still find embarrassing photos with a quick search, so can they.
LinkedIn can be such an invaluable resource for career-minded adults. Not just for connecting and networking, but for professional development as well. The best way to take advantage of that potential is by consistently engaging with the community. Become known in my circles for sharing quality content and adding thoughtful commentary to group discussions.
My plan is to read (or listen) to at least one new book in the professional development genre every month. Whether I’m learning a practical skill or just seeking good motivation, a career-minded book is perfect for filling in the downtime. I will also plan to add in a few biographies of industry leaders, either in the business, creative, political, or military fields. The New Year doesn’t always mean a new career, but it can mean a new perspective, and there’s so much information at my fingertips.
Take a look at the resumes or LinkedIn profiles of professionals I admire. What certifications or skills do they have that I too could add? Whether it’s receiving a technical certification or starting to learn a foreign language, one new year resolution is to tackle a new career skill. I’d like to end the year with at least one new item in my toolkit.
Message someone whose career I admire and ask them out for a cup of coffee. There’s nothing more valuable or educational than a one-on-one interaction with an industry leader. The new year is a perfect chance to get new insights on career opportunities I may never have even considered. Bonus points if it’s a cold connection.
Help out at a neighborhood nonprofit at least once a month. Serve lunch at the homeless shelter, plant trees in the community green space, walk dogs at the SPCA, etc. I’ll be doing something great for my community AND expanding my network. You also never know if those personal connections might become professional connections.
Seek out area societies or groups that are in my professional wheelhouse. Attend networking events, speeches, etc. LinkedIn is a fantastic resource, but I’d like to hit the streets and become a familiar face in my community. There are also photography and film MeetUps with regular contests and challenges. These could be great ways to improve my own abilities.
Whether this is through LinkedIn, my university’s career center, or just a family friend: seek out people I could offer assistance to. Maybe I can connect them with others on LinkedIn, write referrals for them, or offer any other sort of additional career advice.
This new year I will send actual cards through the mail to new career connections like the college professors and former colleagues who inspired, pushed (or pulled) me into my past and current roles. Injecting a little bit of gratitude into your day can help set you in the proper mindset for success.
Finally, I am going to fail at something this year. I will pick something challenging and outside of my comfort zone and push myself past my limits. Ideas on the table for this year include entering a professional photography contest, learning to speak basic French, and baking a perfect macaron.
Many times our ideas never become reality because of the voice in the back of our head saying “there’s no way you could pull this off.” Even if I fail at something, I can look back at the end of the year and be proud that I proved that voice wrong. Focusing on your career in your New Year’s resolutions is a simple way to set tangible goals for future success, and most of the time they are actually steps you truly want to take!
So what are YOUR career New Year’s resolutions for 2019?