Get the most out of your career.
Many of us set career goals that we believe will make all of our hopes and dreams come true.
Goals like getting a promotion or a pay rise, or simply being more successful in our jobs, are pretty common goals among workers. While these resolutions are absolutely attainable with hard work, focusing all your energy on the big picture can leave you feeling overwhelmed or unfulfilled. And most of the time, it’s because you haven’t harnessed these big dreams into actionable achievement plans.
If you set a few vague or over the top goals, then you will probably finish the year either completely forgetting about what you set out to achieve over 12 months or suffering the unsatisfaction of not being able to cross your resolutions off.
The most important thing is to create resolutions that are realistic. Here are six attainable resolutions that are long-lasting and packed with value.
Growing your network
You never know when professional relationships and connections can come in handy, so expanding your network is one of the most rewarding things you can do to help advance your career.
And we don’t just mean going to networking events, drinking too much champagne, munching on nibblies, and then handing out business cards to people you can’t even remember. You actually need a strategic plan and approach if you’re going to succeed at a networking event.
Think about how you can make a lasting impression on someone by doing your research on them and their company, and have an idea about how you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
But don’t just focus on making new connections. Another great resolution is continuing to foster a relationship with your existing network because you won’t be able to reap the rewards of a relationship if you let them fall off your radar.
Ultimately your network will only help lift you up, which could eventually see you gaining that promotion or pay rise you have always dreamed of.
Finding/being a mentor
Finding someone who has been on a similar career path as you, or the path you want to go down can really help boost your career. Think about all the mistakes you make every day, and then imagine having someone there who could teach you what they learned from their own mistakes before you make the same ones.
A mentor could be anyone, from a work colleague to someone you admire online. The most important thing is that it is someone who has the time to help you. With platforms like LinkedIn readily available, you can forge a mentor-mentee relationship with almost anyone (either online or face-to-face). You should be able to share your work goals and achievements with your mentor, and turn to them when you need advice or some extra motivation.
Then, you should also think about becoming a mentor yourself. This can be difficult if nobody has reached out to you because you don’t want to connect with someone and blatantly tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. However, there are always ways to share your experiences that might help guide others. If you’re a manager, think about how you could share insights or allow your staff to come to you for advice. Even if you’re just an employee, reach out to someone like an intern and ask them how they see their career unfolding and offer advice where necessary.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly and suppress the situation without speaking up, then you will most likely struggle to reach all your other career resolutions. And if you go down that path of bottling everything up, you will only breed resentment in the workplace and remain unhappy with your career.
This doesn’t mean you should just complain and tell everyone when something isn’t going your way either. If you truly feel you have been treated unfairly, discuss it with only the relevant people and in a professional manner. Even if you don’t reach your desired outcome from speaking up, they will most likely appreciate your openness and honesty, and further trust you. These qualities are highly regarded and you will be rewarded for them down the line.
Speaking up can also be about overcoming fear and sharing your ideas. Spreading your ideas will only help, and there is nothing worse than being afraid of sharing something and soon finding out that someone else shared what you were thinking and was praised for it.
Representing your brand
Representing your brand, whether that be the company you work for, your own business, or your own personal brand, is extremely important. Everyone and anyone that works for a company is the face of it, meaning they hold a tremendous amount of power.
If you went out for dinner and experienced really poor service from a waiter, your whole image of that brand would be tainted from that one experience. On the other hand, if you had received exceptional service you would recommend the restaurant and regard it highly.
Essentially, you need to have the mindset that it is a privilege to work where you do and know your company well, so you can represent it with integrity.
While you may wonder how anyone will ever know whether or not you have presented your brand well, doing so will always help you and it provides an excellent chance for career advancement.
As job requirements continue to fluctuate in the ever-changing work environment being adaptable can never be over-emphasised. You should always be looking for ways to upskill, whether that is enrolling in a short course or asking your employer for extra training. It’s a lot easier today to upskill as well, thanks to the prevalence of online courses.
But don’t just pick something random and unrelated to your career, but instead a choose a skillset that will suit your individual needs and fuel your career goals.
You always want to be ready to meet new demands, and upskilling provides you with immense bargaining power with both current and future employers, so setting some time aside to learn new skills will definitely prove worthwhile in the long run.
Finding a balance
With all the craziness of achieving career resolutions and actually fulfilling your day-to-day job requirements, life can get a bit hectic. Taking some time out, and finding a balance between work and life is vital to ensure you don’t burn out.
If you’re someone who is highly driven with almost no personal commitments, think about attending a work retreat to switch up your environment and connect with new like-minded people. If you have a lot of personal commitments, then make sure you find the right balance where you can meet these as well as your work commitments.
While we all strive to achieve the perfect work-life balance, if you actually include it as one of your career resolutions then you will be reminded to reflect on your progress every now and again and ensure you aren’t spending all your time working or better yet, spending all your time on leisure.
Image via tumblr.com.
If you liked this story, read more like it on A Girl In Progress:
Original article published by SHESAID Australia >