10 career resolutions to make any time
September may be the new January when it comes to setting career goals.
This year has certainly been one for the history books! Most likely, the global pandemic has thrown your career goals or job search objectives off course. Not all is lost, however. Many people think of September as a time for an end-of-year reset, probably because we think back to the start of a new school year in a new class with new teachers. The whole season has a feeling of newness (even if that pumpkin spiced latte is so 2010!). Take advantage of that feeling and draft some updated career resolutions.
At this point, though, you know the drill: You set a goal (no more carbs!), stick to it for a month (if you’re lucky), and then revert to your old habits. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail, but it does mean you need to be realistic. Your sights must be set on targets that are within your reach. Beware biting off more than you can chew.
To help you increase your awesomeness this year, Monster compiled 10 achievable resolutions that are suitable for every industry and every experience level—at any time of year.
1. Pay attention
If you’ve been doing the same job for a while, it’s easy to let yourself coast—and let your skills development fall by the wayside. The solution? Treat every workday like a school day. Adopt a growth mindset, aim to learn something each day—it doesn’t even have to relate to your skills set—just keep your brain in learning mode.
2. Look for the next rung
If you want to get promoted this year, don’t just sit back and wait for your boss to tap you on the shoulder. Create your own opportunities by meeting with your manager to get clarity on what you need to do to upgrade your position within the company. But remember to take small, achievable steps. All those small steps add up.
3. Make your boss look good
By helping your boss hit her goals, she’ll be more motivated to help you achieve yours. “Find out how your boss is judged and how she gets a bonus,” says Larry Myler, author of Indispensable by Monday. Oftentimes, these are financial targets, so understand how to help your manager hit them.
4. Pick projects with maximum impact
One of the best ways to gain visibility within your company and become known as a leader is by making noticeable contributions on big projects. Therefore, find out what high-profile projects are in the works this year, and ask if there are opportunities for you to play a part on them.
5. Stretch your role
The last thing you want to be is a hamster on a wheel at your job—clocking in and clocking out without pushing yourself. Step outside your comfort zone and take on new responsibilities to gain the experience you need to climb the ranks. Showing that kind of initiative will also make you more valuable to your employer. Come up with your own ideas, and work with your manager to implement them.
6. Manage up
Building a great relationship with your boss is paramount. After all, the person who signs off on your performance reviews can help or hinder your career trajectory. One approach to managing up: Find out what keeps your boss up at night, recommends Morag Barrett, CEO of HR and leadership consultancy Skye Team. Once you’ve identified these issues, make your manager’s life easier by offering to pitch in.
7. Manage across
Whether you get along with your co-workers can improve or impair your job performance, especially on group projects. To cozy up to colleagues, be a team player by giving co-workers credit when it’s due, engaging with your peers outside of work (doing so builds rapport), and providing these folks with emotional support during hard times. “If you can work more effectively with others, you’re going to build meaningful relationships that can help you long term,” says Joyce Russell, dean at the Villanova School of Business.
8. Be a better communicator
Want to be liked? Be a good communicator. That means returning emails and calls promptly, letting co-workers know what you’re up to, and asking people where they’re at on their own projects. Talk to people; give them a heads up when you’ll be unavailable so they’re not left hanging. And when someone helps you out, be sure to thank them.
9. Create work-life balance
All work and no play can make life a chore—if you’re miserable at work, your career could stall out. The moral? Work hard, but don’t wear yourself out. Carve out time for friends and family. And don’t forget to take your vacation days.
10. Be open to outside opportunities
Whether or not you’re not happy at your job, you should be keeping your eyes open for new opportunities regardless. You risk nothing by applying to jobs that seem like they’d be a good fit. Pressed for time? Need help? There’s a very simple solution: Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads.