Career resolutions for the new year are fairly common. According to a 2021 poll conducted by the popular job search site, Monster, 47% of participants agreed on setting career goals as a part of their new year’s resolutions. However, studies also show that approximately 80% of these resolutions fail. Although most people start the year with determination, they tend to lose their focus by the time February arrives.
As we approach the end of the year, let’s try to understand why professionals fail to adhere to career resolutions and provide effective strategies and tips to keep them on track.
The Importance of Career Goals
Making professional resolutions is important because it stimulates the executive function of the brain, which is a set of cognitive abilities that assists in goal-setting and achievement. Consciously setting goals increases the likelihood of success by giving professionals a clear vision and direction for attaining them. Moreover, making professional resolutions can assist you in prioritizing your goals based on how valuable you perceive them to be for your career.
Implementing a Strategy for New Year’s Resolutions
The 30-60-90 day strategy is a popular job search method. Professionals can use this approach to concentrate on each 30-day period of the job hunt and optimize their efforts accordingly to achieve a specific set of career goals.
Alternatively, opting for the SMART framework to complement the above strategy while setting career resolutions is an excellent choice. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. You can open a blank document on your computer or take out a piece of paper to create a resolution that addresses the following questions:
What field or profession are you interested in? Are you willing to relocate or not? What are the salary expectations?
How many resumes will you send out each week to reach your goal? What number of networking events do you plan to attend each month?
Do you recognize the distinction between your goals and your dreams? Remember that not everything is within your ability to influence. You cannot control how many interviews or job offers you receive, but you can aim to make a certain number of business contacts each month.
What can you achieve right now? It is unlikely that a candidate with minimal experience can move directly into a C-level position. Be realistic about what you can accomplish at present while simultaneously making plans for bigger goals in the future.
When is your deadline? This aspect of goal-setting is often overlooked, but deadlines are crucial motivators. Since professionals cannot control when they will get hired, making a resolution, such as “I will find a job within the next three months,” may be less effective than, “I will apply to at least ten vacancies this week.”
Resolutions to Help Your Career
Whether you are looking to advance in your current field or want to switch to a new one, making a few career resolutions for the new year can help jumpstart your motivation. Here are eight resolutions to get you started on your career path in 2023.
Search through job descriptions to identify what skills companies are looking for, and determine if your education and experience match their requirements. If not, then learn new skills or upskill yourself to stay ahead of the curve and increase your employability.
Read industry publications to broaden your knowledge base, stay updated, and demonstrate your ongoing commitment and growth mindset to potential employers.
Developing your career through networking is a great idea. It gives access to fresh job prospects and keeps you updated with the most recent trends. So, take out some extra time to create a plan and expand your professional network. Make connections with professionals on LinkedIn and other social media, attend business meetings and knowledge-sharing sessions.
Reduce (or Eliminate) Procrastination
Procrastination hampers your career goals and is a major productivity killer. Professionals are more likely to procrastinate when they do not have a set plan or agenda to complete work. Consider organizing the tasks in a daily planner and tracking the progress and due dates to eliminate procrastination.
Your career often benefits from developing your communication skills with clients, coworkers, and superiors. You can achieve this by making small improvements, such as responding to emails more quickly, checking in with people on the status of their projects, expressing gratitude to those who assist you, and being open to communication at work.
Try Something New
To avoid building your entire identity completely around your career, revive a favorite pastime or pursue a new hobby. This will help you to achieve the kind of work/life balance needed to make the upcoming year successful on both professional and personal levels.
Create a Self-Accountability System
To build a self-accountability system, professionals need to have a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Besides, honesty and humility are two other pillars of this system. If you’ve made a mistake, you should admit it in front of your peers. Occasionally, self-reflecting or asking yourself how you could’ve done things differently helps in strengthening the system.
Work on Developing Executive Presence
Executive presence often centers around how a professional speaks and conducts themself. While it may come naturally for some, others can build on it and strengthen it with time. You can join a professional development group, enhance your communication skills, record yourself to find improvements, or hire an executive coach to nurture and grow your executive presence.
Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
With an understanding of the career resolutions, you can make in 2023, let us provide you with some effective tips to help you stick to them.
1. Plan Ahead
Do not make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, your decision will be hasty and will depend on your mindset at that time. Instead, the plan should be prepared in advance and well-thought-out to make it fail-proof.
2. Outline the Plan
Decide how you will deal with any deviation from your resolution. For instance, this could include calling your mentor for help, practicing mindfulness and self-talking, or reminding yourself how your actions can have detrimental effects on your long-term career goals.
3. Track Progress
Keep a record of every little victory. Short-term goals are easier to achieve and will help you stay motivated as you continue to make incremental progress. However, it is also important to not stress too much as it may lead to burnout. Deliver your best each day: that’s all you can do.
4. Celebrate the Wins
The secret to sticking to your career resolutions is to reward yourself once you achieve them. Everyone needs something to look forward to because it serves as a motivation to complete our daily tasks. For instance, if your goal is to finish an online marketing course, reward yourself with a weekend getaway for all the hard work.
Meet Your Career Goals With Emeritus
At Emeritus, we work with leading global universities to develop online courses across a diverse range of subjects to help professionals upskill/reskill and increase their employability. Sign up for any of these courses that best align with your career resolutions for 2023 and stay on track to achieve your goals.
By Rupam Deb
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