As we finish off one year and prepare to start the next, it’s a good time to think about how we want 2018 to be better, which for purposes of this column means a better career.
Here are 10 ideas for new year’s resolutions to adopt for a stronger career in 2018:
1. I will stay in touch.
You can start the networking habit with a holiday mailing. You can continue by reaching out in the new year to ask about people’s holidays. You can make additional contacts throughout the year by dedicating your lunch hour to meeting up with people and getting out from behind your desk, or reconnecting with at least one person you don’t see day-to-day. Even if you only do this once per week, that’s 52 chances for staying in touch.
2. I will manage my professional online presence.
You probably already surf your social media platforms of choice to keep in touch personally. From a professional standpoint, you can extend your outreach to a broader network (to help with #1-staying in touch!) and you can post about topics in your industry or functional expertise. You can also update your profiles, including your picture (it needs to look like you do now, not five years ago).
3. I will preserve my focus.
One of the most common obstacles for my clients when reaching for a career goal is the fatigue factor – most are working a hectic, complex day job and feel too depleted to take on something else. Unfortunately, that something else is often what they really should be focused on – the search for a more ideal job, the pursuit of a promotion, the transition to a new career. If this sounds like you, then make 2018 the year you carve out specific time before, during and at the end of each day to take action on your “real” career aspiration, not the one you happened to be assigned to in your day job.
Part of the focus problem stems from a lack of energy. Demanding jobs are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. This means that in addition to preserving a focus on career action, you need to focus on preserving your energy reserves. Exercise, meditation, enough sleep, and good eating habits are all career moves when they give you the stamina to make that extra push.
5. I will spend my mornings wisely.
Adopting a good energy habit is a logical candidate for how you might remake your morning. If the days seem to get away from you before you get the important stuff done, create a new morning routine. Take one hour and spend 20 minutes each on exercise, meditation and reading. Or spend 10 minutes each and add additional habits, such as journaling, prioritizing the day, or reconnecting with your network (staying in touch!). Or resolve to spend the morning on your most important task. Whatever you decide, if you get your morning right, even if the rest of the day does get away from you, you will have at least have accomplished one thing.