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Now that another eventful year has come to an end, it’s time to look forward to the new year ahead of us. For many, this involves setting new goals and resolutions, but, as we all know, setting resolutions - both personal and professional - and sticking to them can sometimes be difficult.  

To make it easier for you, however, we have compiled 8 realistic career resolutions for the new year, to ensure you have your best year yet! 

1. Learn a new skill

Regardless of what industry or profession you are in, there are hundreds of skills for you to learn that will aid your career and its development. If there is a set of skills that you've always wanted to learn, one that compliments your career path, then taking on a professional qualification or even a simple online certificate is a great way to upskill and take your professional knowledge - and career - to the next level. 

While you might feel too busy between work and life commitments to take on this kind of responsibility, rest assured that there are plenty of avenues for those working both full-time and part-time to successfully complete a new qualification - whether that be entirely online or via face-to-face or live online classrooms. 

2. Grow your network 

One of your top resolutions for the new year should be to get out there - either online or in-person - to network as well as speak with your colleagues more. Now that the pandemic restrictions are finally behind us, gaining new contacts and strengthening already established connections is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your industry and organisation. 

Initially, consider the current composition and strengths of your network and how you would like it to look in two years time. According to executive coach Eric Gerber, evaluating the health of your network before setting out your objectives can help you hone into its weaknesses while also allowing you to better prepare for future industry trends. 

If you are not sure where to start, here are a few quick tips on how to grow your network:

  • Join online forums relevant to your industry. 
  • Attend networking events and conferences to interact with other attendees. 
  • Become a member of a professional organisation. 
  • Pursue any volunteer opportunities you may come across.
  • Utilise your alumni network from school or university to the fullest.

3. Steer clear of negativity in the workplace

Let’s face it, we all have one or two so-called Negative Nancies at our work. They tend to complain about anything and everything, pretty much 24/7, and as a result can really affect your mood and motivation to work. This resolution is mainly about trying to avoid those people and their negativity all together.  

Not sure how to go about that? Here are some ways you can avoid negativity at work:

  • Avoid conversations whose primary purpose is gossip.
  • Address any complaints head-on without being defensive or confrontational.
  • Try and stay positive, and if that is not possible, put your headphones on, find your favourite playlist or podcast and stay silent. 
  • Try and start conversations that focus on and draw out the positives in an effort to slowly fade out the negativity.

4. Avoid procrastination 

Oftentimes, we can become so confident with our time management skills that we start putting some of our tasks off for a later date. That, or we simply put things off because we don’t yet want to tackle the task at hand.

While this is fine to a degree, eventually, these habits will lead to a number of small tasks slowly growing into an insurmountable mountain, which will inevitably cause you stress and anxiety.

To avoid this in the new year, work on keeping yourself motivated and avoid procrastinating whenever possible. A few ways to do this effectively, include: 

  • Creating a to-do list with all of your tasks and deadlines to keep you on track.
  • Remove any and all distractions when you have to concentrate, for example set your phone to ‘Do not disturb’ and avoid working with the TV on in the background.
  • Focus your attention on one task at a time.
  • Create personal monthly aims to keep yourself accountable and motivated.
  • Most importantly learn to forgive yourself, we are human at the end of the day.

5. Try something new

We appreciate that this may not be an easy one for everyone, but learning to step out of our comfort zone is essential for your self-growth and development.

The best part about this resolution is that there are countless options for you to choose from. Pick something, anything, you have always wanted to do. Whether it’s hiking, camping, taking cooking lessons, learning a new language or how to play an instrument, taking on hobbies outside of work can bring back your excitement and motivation for your job.

6. Get to reading 

If a professional qualification isn’t the avenue for you, regardless of what job you do, there is always a book - or a blog - out there relevant to you that can help you improve your performance, professional skills and work habits.

It does not matter how long you have been working in a profession, even if you feel like you know everything there is always something new to learn.

As such, gaining a new perspective about what and how to do things more effectively in your job will help you elevate your role, your teams, and ultimately, your organisation. 

7. Listen to a new podcast 

We live in a world of free information, accessible to us around the clock so we would be silly not to utilise it. More specifically, podcasts have gained immense popularity over the last number of years, for everything from entertainment, lifestyle, career and self-development.

That said, we would recommend that you find a podcast to listen to that proves relevant to your profession, helping you to stay on top of industry news and trends.

If you feel like you might not have time for a podcast, however, keep in mind that they are great for when you are doing housework, commuting to and from work or even at the gym.

Some great examples of career-oriented podcasts, include: 

  • Career Talk: Learn - Grow - Thrive host Stephanie Dennis uses her recruitment expertise to share holistic career advice.
  • Career Cloud Radio provides listeners with practical tips and tools on how to approach their job hunt. 
  • Being Boss Series is the perfect podcast to gain advice on how to achieve your dream career, at any stage of your professional development journey.
  • The School of Greatness, hosted by former athlete and New York Times best selling author Lewis Howes invites successful individuals, of all industries, to share their inspiring success stories. 

8. Volunteer 

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the local and wider community while also offering you a greater sense of purpose. That said, if there is a charitable cause that you are passionate about, it’s a great idea to sign up and volunteer.

Whether that is volunteering at your local soup kitchen or taking part in a charity marathon, you can find a way to make a difference in the lives of others as well as your own. Not to mention, you will undoubtedly learn and develop transferable skills that will also benefit you at the office, including communication, problem-solving and leadership skills.

Regardless of how you decide to approach this brand new year, we hope that one or all of the above career resolutions have left you feeling inspired and excited to jump back into work again. and motivated with your work again. 

Enrol on one of our highly regarded and recognised courses and watch your career evolve.