30 December 2013
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Have you set your career resolutions for the New Year yet? Whether you’re employed or currently in the job market, and looking to a recruitment firm, here’s a secret: the key to setting a manageable New Year’s resolution is to choose one that can produce measurable results. For example, take the most common New Year’s resolution: exercise more. Many people resolve to become healthier but inevitably revert to their more sedentary habits within a few months. Why? Because their resolution is too broad. If they narrowed it down to something measurable—like run one mile in under ten minutes—they would be much more likely to achieve it. The same goes for your career resolutions. Rather than “get a job” or “get promoted,” think in measurable increments. Break down your larger goals into steps and make each of those a resolution in and of itself. And if you haven’t considered making career resolutions yet, pull out a pad and paper! Every year gives us the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and use the motivation that comes with a fresh start. Here are some broader career resolutions for the New Year and how you can break them down into more manageable goals, regardless of what level of your career you’re in: Stay updated on the industry: Whether you’re in healthcare or accounting, there’s a wealth of information out there to keep you up-to-date in any industry. Try making a resolution like “read one blog per week” or “subscribe to an industry publication” to help you stay on track and keep absorbing knowledge. You can even make a list of reputable sources and keep them at the ready for your “study time” so you don’t spend valuable time researching for relevant information. Be more observant: This goal can come in a variety of forms. “Listen more,” “Pay more attention at meetings,” and “Stay on top of emails” all fall within it, but they are all too abstract to measure and keep track of. Instead, if you’re simply trying to make sure you’re more present, try such resolutions as “get back to all business-related emails within 12 hours” or “follow up on job applications within one week.” These can keep you more accountable and aware of your goals and those around you. Strive for better work-life balance: Scheduling time for relaxation is something too many of us let fall to the bottom of our priorities. Try such resolutions as “keep a three-hour block of time free every Sunday” and “get at least eight hours of sleep per night” to refresh you and keep you in better habits. This is also where you should start considering that exercising resolution mentioned above: studies have repeatedly shown that healthier people are generally happier and more productive at work. Pick up a new skill: Whether you need a resume builder for your job search or simply want to move up in your current position, gaining a new skill can only help. Try setting a resolution like “take a class in Excel” or “attend a webinar on X” to hold yourself accountable. Network better: We have lots of advice on networking here on our blog, but there are so many aspects to so many different types of networking, your efforts have to be narrowed down to what works best for you. Try resolving to go to at least one or two networking events, send an email to your current network to wish them a happy holidays (and continue to keep in touch with them), and/or make at least “X” new LinkedIn connections over the course of the upcoming year. These are the kinds of moves that can make a difference in any professional’s career, whether they’re in the job market or the VP of a major corporation. What are your career resolutions?