We’re in the midst of January, but you can still make New Year’s resolutions! Plenty of people want to lose weight, manage their money better, or learn a new hobby. But have you made New Year’s resolutions for your career? Just as you have yearly goals that guide your everyday life, you should make goals for your career. Your goal can be short- or long-term, just don’t let your professional life come to a standstill! Unsure of what resolutions to make? Here are some ideas.
Make one new professional contact per month.
One of the best resources you can give yourself is a network of professional connections. Reach out to professionals on LinkedIn, or just make an effort to get to know people! Whether you’re working in an office or in retail, there’s always opportunities available. In an office setting, you often have access to a network of contacts without even knowing it. Make an effort to talk to your coworkers, and find out each other’s interests. If they have a relevant contact, they may share their information with you, and you should do the same for them. If you’re in a retail position, get to know your customers! I can’t even begin to mention how many connections I made after customers would ask me what I was going to school for. Not to mention, it’s good customer service to be friendly.
Another great way to gain contacts is by going to networking events. This can be with career fairs, cocktail hours, or various associations of professionals in your area. Look around online, especially on social media, to see what events you can find!
Keep a career journal.
Whether you’re in an internship or in the midst of a post-graduation job, keep a list of the things you do. When we are starting a job search or updating our resume, it’s difficult to think of what exactly we did in our most recent position. This solves that problem. Write down objectives or tasks after you complete them. It helps you remember what you did for your job, and helps you when you’re putting the position on your resume.
Get a professional headshot.
Headshots are more important than you think. Does your LinkedIn profile have a clear, high-quality, professional-looking picture? Make sure you’re appealing to employers, and you have a quality profile! Not to mention, you may need one handy for professional accomplishments, even if you’re still in school. Contact your school’s career office or find a friend with a high-quality camera.
Start adopting healthy habits at work.
Take note I didn’t say “be healthier at work.” Making a large, generalized New Year’s resolution makes it less attainable, and easier to give up on. If you’re in an office environment, are you just staying at your desk all day? Maybe try to get a lumbar support for your chair to improve your posture, or make a goal to get up and stretch once per hour. If you find yourself eating out for lunch multiple times a week, maybe try to cut the number in half. It’s harder to quit cold-turkey and make yourself miserable! Maybe set a goal for how much water you want to drink a day.
These are all small, achievable New Year’s resolutions that have real payoff. It’s okay to have big goals too, like getting your dream job, but you should also break that goal down in to smaller objectives that will give you a sense of pride when you accomplish them.