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Optimum Talks Blog

Career Resolutions for 2019

by Kim Hirsch

While there is no shortage of articles and blogs about New Year’s resolutions, what seems to be lacking is resolutions related to careers and work.  I find this particularly interesting given that our careers make up a key part of our identity and approximately 1/3 of our lives are spent at the office! So, this year instead of the old standbys such as “diet and exercise more”, “put more money into savings” or “learn a new hobby or skill”, what I propose is that you make a resolution to improve or enhance your work life.

Now I know what you may be thinking – “Why should I bother? Resolutions never work!”, but I argue that even if they fail, creating a resolution is worth it because of the process itself. Let me explain… Making resolutions involves setting time aside to think inward about changes you can implement in your life that contribute to making you feel happier and more fulfilled. It requires deep personal reflection about your current state and setting goals for yourself. Ultimately, going through the exercise allows you to develop your ability to reflect and increase your self-awareness, which helps you unravel the career objectives that will make you more successful… all of which are pretty good reasons to try it out in 2019.

In order to be effective, your resolution should be simple and attainable – a small change or two in your routine that will help make your work life or career more rewarding. Here are six ideas to get you started:

  1. Spend more time away from your desk: Eating lunch away from your desk, going outside for a breath of fresh air, or getting up every 1-2 hours for a quick walk around the office can do wonders for your overall productivity, creativity, and physical health.
  2. Create a career development plan: If your company offers a formal development plan, commit to truly dedicating yourself to it this year. Set reminders in your calendar to follow-up on your progress and goals, and make sure to get your supervisor involved too. If your company does not offer a formal process, there are many tools available online that can help you create your own.
  3. Dedicate more time to networking: No matter what position you hold, networking matters. Whether it is inside or outside of your office, networking plays a tremendous role in enhancing your current position, helping career aspirations and building your personal brand.
  4. Show more gratitude at the office: While it doesn’t have to be much, showing gratitude to your colleagues can go a long way in improving employee engagement and job satisfaction for both parties. A simple thank you, coffee or public recognition at the meeting is usually all it takes.
  5. Improve your time-management skills: Do you follow a strict routine about when you check emails versus spending focused times on tasks? Do you set aside time each day or week to prioritize your to-do list? If not, there are many simple time management techniques that you can try implementing every day to ensure that you are making the most efficient use of your time.
  6. Refresh your resume: If you have not updated your resume this decade (or even in the past year), make it your goal to do so in 2019. Even if you are not actively seeking a new role you never know when you will get cold called from a recruiter or apply to a volunteer or board position.

What’s your career resolution for 2019 going to be?

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