The Christmas break is an ideal time to sit back and reflect on the year that was and think about all the things you want to achieve in the next year. How was the past 12 months? Did you achieve everything you set about to do at the beginning of the year, did you learn new things or did you get a new job or a promotion? Maybe you changed career, left your job or maybe you did nothing differently at all. Whatever the situation, use the Christmas and New Year break to really think about your goals and the things you want to change in your career.
So, where do you start? Firstly, write a list of all the really great things that happened in your career and a list of the things that didn’t pan out so well. Could you have changed any of those bad things? If the answer is yes, then this could be one of the areas to work on in the future. Below are 5 resolutions that will help you make some clear plans and catapult your career into the New Year.
Resolution 1 – Be more organised with your email
Being disorganised is an obstacle that prevents us from reaching our full potential. Working in a disorganised work environment means you waste a lot of time and lose focus. The first place to start getting more organised is with your email. Put aside some time to totally clear out your Inbox, file the important emails away but delete everything else. The idea is to have a clear Inbox at the start and end of each day. You’ll be amazed how much of a positive difference this will make to your daily activities.
Resolution 2 – Improve your relationships
Building better relationships at work will open the doors to bigger and better things. Start taking the time to get to know your co-workers and network right across the organisation. Someone who is well-regarded, social and confident around the office is the one who is front of mind when new opportunities become available.
Resolution 3 – Study/learn new skills
You’re never too young, old or too settled to study and learn new skills and it’s really important if you want ultimate career fulfilment. Open your mind to be challenged because we need to be inspired to try new things and develop. I went back to university at 38 years old and commit to several learning courses every year. If you’re thinking of going for a promotion or new job, learn the skills that would get you that type of job. There are also plenty of reasonably priced and free online courses on the market, so there’s no excuses for not giving it a go.
Resolution 4 – Relax more
If you’re feeling stressed, ask yourself if the stress is coming from outside sources (work colleagues, boss etc.) or is it self-induced? If you work in a stressful workplace, a good way to reduce your stress is to write ‘To Do’ lists every day, delegate tasks or simply stop thinking you can ‘do it all’. You can’t place the world on your shoulders – so don’t. If your stress is self-induced, it’s time to take some well-deserved time out to relax. A 30 minute walk outside or visit to the park at lunch is an ideal way to take some ‘you’ time to totally switch off. Take up some type of sport (walking, jogging, yoga, the gym etc.) or anything that will remove you totally from your work environment. In no time you’ll be feeling more like yourself and more energised than ever before.
Resolution 5 – Find your dream job/get a promotion
You may be quite happy in your current job but it’s always good to strive for more each year. Think about asking for more responsibilities, take on some additional training or even go for a promotion. Don’t be shy about letting people know that you’re looking to move upwards in the company. You just never know what opportunities will come about so keep an open mind and be ready for the opportunity. You may be one of the thousands of people who decide to work for themselves. It’s hugely rewarding and it means you can be the boss. It takes a little planning but once you have the basics in place, the world is your oyster.
If you’re unhappy in your job altogether, now is the perfect time to think about what you really want to do. Your ‘dream job’ is a job where you do something that you really love (and get paid for it at the same time). If this ends up being a complete career change, start getting the skills you need to do the job and volunteer if you need to so you can put these new skills to practice.
So you keep on track with your new goals, set up some email reminders every month to keep you motivated. It’s all too easy to slip back into old habits but if you stay vigilant, you will enjoy the results.