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5 Career Resolutions You Should Definitely Be Making This Year

5 months ago by Rose Hunt

5 Career Resolutions You Should Definitely Be Making This Year

New Year Fresh Start

​With its dreary weather and lack of sunlight, January often gets a bad rap. However, with the right mindset, it’s a month that can also have plenty of positives. Cosy nights in, settling back into a predictable routine, and our favourite series coming back on the TV, to name just a few. Aside from all that, if you ask us, one of the best things about January is the possibility. With an entire year stretching out ahead of us, we’re given the gift of a blank slate. A chance to leave last year’s mistakes behind, take control of our own destiny, and create new opportunities for happiness. Of course, one of the best ways to achieve this is to set New Year’s resolutions. Forget meat-free Mondays and dry January, though, when was the last time you set yourself career resolutions?

Whether it’s a promotion you’re after or you’re considering switching industries entirely, the arrival of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on how you can grow as a professional. With this in mind, here’s five career resolutions we think everyone should be making!

1. If you don’t like your job, find a new one.

Let’s start with an obvious one. If you can’t stand your job, any other resolutions you make are destined to be pretty ineffective. Although it might be a scary prospect, the good news is that January is a great time to job hunt. Hiring budgets have often been renewed so companies are trying to fill new positions. Recruiters are on the lookout for new candidates, and organisations want to get new people in as quickly as possible. If you’re in the market for a new job, make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row first – take the time to work on your personal branding, brush up on your job interview technique, and of course, get in touch with a trusted recruiter.

2. Network more

We all know that building professional relationships can open doors. In fact, research has shown that 80% of professionals view it as essential to their career success, and 100% believe that face-to-face interaction helps build stronger long-term bonds. However, it’s also easier said than done, especially if you’ve a busy personal life or you’re simply a bit of an introvert. As one of the proven top career-boosting strategies, though, it’s well worth the effort. If you’re not sure where to begin, start online by making connections with people you admire within your industry, and getting involved in relevant conversations on LinkedIn. You might also consider attending speaker or panel events that provide time for networking afterwards. That way, you already have a subject in common to discuss, and it won’t feel quite so awkward.

3. Focus on your wellbeing

In 2019, the World Health Organization defined employee burnout as an occupational phenomenon that occurs because of unmanaged, chronic workplace stress. According to reports, 75% of us suffered burnout during the pandemic. Even now, the majority of UK adults report feeling stressed every month, and many of us feel more exhausted than ever before. Prioritising your own wellbeing in 2023 is therefore a smart move, and doesn’t mean neglecting any of your responsibilities at work. Rather, for many of us it means drawing clearer boundaries between our personal and professional lives so that we can make the most of each of them. If you make the time for the people and things that matter to you most outside of work, you’ll likely find your enthusiasm, motivation and engagement on the job will skyrocket. As an example, you might commit to not answering non-urgent emails after 5pm or on the weekends, and always taking your full lunch break.

4. Step outside your comfort zone more often

Whether it’s the chance to speak at an event or lead on a project, it’s all too easy to turn down new opportunities because they’re scary. Although our comfort zones are safe and cosy, we often learn the most when we’re feeling challenged. Scientifically speaking, taking on a ‘difficult but achievable’ task releases neurochemicals including oxytocin and adrenocorticotropin, both of which can help intensify focus as well as well as form positive memories. If you’re someone who suffers from imposter syndrome or self-doubt, taking on new challenges can also be a great way to prove you’re more capable than you think. If you like the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone at work more often but you’re not sure how, we’ve got six ideas to get you started!

5. Learn a new skill

Did you know that your brain is composed of 85 billion neurons, which is more than the number of stars we can see in the night sky? When we learn a new skill, new connections between these neurons are created - a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. Not only has this been demonstrated to slow cognitive ageing, it can also spur you on to keep gathering new skills in the future. In the working world, learning new skills not only increases your employability, but also boosts your confidence and helps you to discover new interests and talents. If you aren’t sure what skill you’d like to learn, why not ask your employer if there’s any new software they’d like someone to be well versed in, or a course it would benefit you to go on. And remember, possessing soft skills is just as important. For example, perhaps you’re looking to brush up on your emotional intelligence or active listening– both vital skills for workplace success, and ones that can be perfected with practise.

All things considered, there’s no better time than January to conduct an audit of your professional life, and consider what achievable changes will make you happier in the long-term. And if you’re lacking in motivation, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that by committing to changes at the beginning of the year, you’re scientifically more likely to succeed. Don’t stop at merely visualising your goals, though – committing them to paper can also boost your chances of success by a whopping 42%! So, why not grab a pen and get started? After all, we’ve a feeling 2023 is going to be your year.

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