Not all career resolutions are created equal. While it’s essential to set goals for the year ahead, the way you approach them may hinder rather than help your progress at work. Instant Offices’ John Williams looks at a few resolutions you might need to replace in 2017.
1. Old resolution:
This year my career will be my sole focus If you do plan to make your career the focal point of your year, ensure you work smarter and not harder. And if work-life balance isn’t a priority already, it should be in 2017. No matter how important your career is to you, it’s vital to spend time on something other than your job. This is not as easy as it sounds, considering most of us stay plugged
This is not as easy as it sounds, considering most of us stay plugged into emails, group chats and client communication even while on holiday, but making time for life is essential to succeed and avoid burnout. Take it from the Millennials, who currently corner the largest share of the US labour market: a study revealed that 16.8% of them value a good work-life balance over 13.4% who value opportunities to progress.
New resolution: This year I’ll focus on achieving a work-life balance
2. Old resolution:
In 2017 I’m going to further my work skills Developing your skills at work is commendable and an ideal way to increase your value and enhance your talent, but personal development is just as essential. Consider learning something completely unrelated to work this year, and you’ll be surprised at how it benefits your career.
Take a cooking class, learn programming, paint, start gardening or learn about search engines. Diverse experiences open new ways of thinking, expand problem-solving abilities and increase creativity – all skills which are invaluable to your career.
New resolution: In 2017 I’m going to learn something completely unrelated to my job
3. Old resolution:
This year I’m going to get more done at work every day If your goal is to be more productive at your job this year, the answer may lie in spending less time at your desk and not more. Getting more done in a work day shouldn’t involve eating lunch at your desk, staying late and coming in early. To maintain a balance, learning how to be more productive during your work day is key.
Regular breaks away from your desk can increase productivity, expand creativity, and improve working relationships as you socialise and network with colleagues. Moving around regularly is also better for your health – calculate your sitting time and vow to cut it in half this year!
New resolution: This year I’m going to leave my desk more often
4. Old resolution:
I’ll stay in a job I dislike because there’s room for growth There are two ways to approach this one. Take a fresh look at your professional goals and the possible timeline to get from A to B. If you can move the process along by studying (check with employers, many offer tuition assistance) or volunteering, it might be worth sticking it out.
Alternatively, if you’re ready to leave there’s no better time than now. Use your professional networks for assistance and contacts. Whatever you do, don’t throw your current employer under the bus while on the job hunt – you never know when you may need to refer to them for help.
New resolution: I’ll work out what’s best for me right now
5. Old resolution:
This year I’m going to demand a pay rise Why: According to a survey of 31 000 people by PayScale, only 43% of respondents say they’ve asked for a raise, and while it is outside of most of our comfort zones, it’s important to communicate your expectations with your company. Before you do this it’s essential to know your worth.
Preparation is key, and you must be ready to demonstrate why you’re valuable to the organisation, and what they’d gain from investing in you. Keep a record of achievements and recognition in the past to strengthen your claims.
New resolution: This year I’m going to earn a pay raise
January is a notorious time for creating goals and resolutions that we fail to stick to. Don’t fall into this time of the year trap. You can make a change to your career or life at any point in 2017. It’s never too late to bring some inspiration and change into the mix. Good luck!
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