When New Year comes around, we tend to get excited for it because it marks a new beginning.
With a clean slate, we naturally start planning for new goals and resolutions, dreams and directions to renew our spirits. Resolutions are simply a great way for us to look forward to the new year with optimism and a proclamation of how you want the new year to be better.
While we tend to think of resolutions as something personal, like “lose weight” or “save more money”, it’s not the only way we can improve our lives. Why not extend them to the workplace as well?
Here are some career-related resolutions you should also be working towards so you can win both in life and work.
1. Do something you love every day
Grab the opportunity to do what you do best every day — when you do so, you are much more likely to be happy and productive at work. That said, find a job that is something you are passionate about and you will naturally do your best.
If you’re lukewarm about your job, make 2020 the year you find one that excites you. This doesn’t mean that you have to leave — a lateral move might give you what you need too.
Just be proactive about going after what you want. If you want more autonomy, negotiate for flexibility at work. If you want to take on more, ask for a promotion.
If you think a new role in a new company will suit you best, you can kickstart your jobsearch on MyCareersFuture.
Even if you’re not actively job searching, refreshing your resume can be a great way to take stock of where you are professionally and to prepare for whatever 2020 may have in store.
2. Take up a new skill
It’s time to invest in yourself and upskill. As your career progresses, more is required of you.
In addition, the market is continually changing so it requires skills and expertise to continually adapt.
No matter what field you are in, there are hundreds of new skills you can learn that could benefit your career. You can take a course to learn or improve on a skill that’s useful in your current role, or one that will help you get the next one.
Regardless if it’s self-sponsored or employee-sponsored, you can check out Workforce Singapore’s list of training grants to offset the course fees.
If you have no idea what skill to take up, a tech skill such as coding is a good start. It is one of the biggest skills in demand today, and can help to future-proof yourself.
3. Expand your professional network
In the age of social media and career hustle, it can seem like the pressure is on to the network as much as possible and ‘know’ as many people as possible on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
However, the new year presents an opportunity to invest in quality, not quantity.
Networking events in particular, are a great opportunity to meet other professionals in your industry. You get to make new connections as well as stay on top of what’s happening in your field. Don’t forget to grab their business cards and connect with them later on LinkedIn.
You can also proactively reach out to people in your network and strengthen old connections by catching up over lunch. This is a good way to build lasting friendships and relationships, and doing so will put you in a good position later if you need help in life and/or career.
4. Stretch your role
It’s easy to get stuck in the same old routine, so you need to make a conscious effort to get out of that rut.
Don’t be a hamster on a wheel at your job — sitting at your desk from 9 to 5 without pushing yourself. You need to step outside the comfort zone and take on new responsibilities to gain the experience you need to climb the ranks.
Come up with ideas to improve workflow or company’s bottomline, and work with your team/manager to implement them. Showing these kind of initiatives will make you more valuable to your employers and thus well-positioned for a promotion and pay raise.
5. Strike a work-life balance
Singaporeans lead such a fast-paced life that sometimes even 24 hours in a day does not feel enough.
All work and no play however, can make life a chore. If you’re miserable at work, your career could stall out so work hard, but don’t wear yourself out. That said, make sure that you set aside time for family, friends, and most importantly, yourself.
During your ‘me-time’, you can use it to exercise, relax, meditate, go for a massage, write in a journal or reflect, walk your pet, or do anything else that takes your fancy — as long as it’s different from what you’re already doing all day long.
Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment so be sure to strike that balance; it can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout in the workplace.
The Hard Part: Sticking To The Resolutions
It’s easy to list out a bunch of new year’s resolutions but we tend to neglect them over the year. In fact, roughly 80% of the resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you.
This doesn’t mean that 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 so make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Resolutions are actually much more doable — and by extension, easier to keep — if you keep it simple.
That said, you don’t have to tackle all of these resolutions. Choose the ones that resonate most with you, and they might just change things up for you (for the better, of course).
If you falter, don’t cross it off your list just yet! Simply restructure it’s much more manageable and you can dedicate yourself to the renewed one. There’s definitely no one-size-fits-all solution, so feel free to tweak it accordingly.
With that, may your New Year’s resolutions help you make this year your best year ever.