If you made a list of career resolutions for the new year, you’re not alone. Around the world, millions of people decided to earn more, find their dream job, get a promotion or expand their network in the upcoming 12 months.
However, it can be much harder than you initially thought to keep your career resolutions. Putting in the extra work for a promotion or finding the time to get to know more people can be challenging when you’re working full-time. So, what can you do to make sure you keep your career resolutions after January? The following tips can help:
Make sure your goals are attainable. This is perhaps the most important point of all. If you have unrealistic expectations of what you can achieve, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So, take the time to really determine whether or not you can reach your goals. If not, simply scrap the ones that aren’t realistic. And if you have larger goals that might take more time to achieve, break them up into smaller steps you can take within a shorter timeframe. For example, if you want to find your dream job, it can be helpful to spend some time updating your résumé and looking for a trustworthy recruiter to work with before sending out any job applications.
Prioritize. In her Glassdoor article “How to Stick to Your New Year’s Career Resolutions,” Isabel Thottam advises assessing which of your objectives are truly important to you. If you’ve set a long list of resolutions that require a lot of work — in addition to your daily workload — you’re likely to burn out. So, decide which of your resolutions are most important and focus your energy on them. For instance, you might want to concentrate on increasing your earning potential by completing another degree.
Get support. It can be helpful to tell someone — such as your supervisor or a colleague — about your career resolutions so he or she can hold you accountable. If you don’t want to share your objectives with anyone at work, consider working with a career coach who can also help you prioritize your goals and break them down into small, easily attainable steps.
Keep a daily work journal. In the CNBC article, Courtney Connley recommends writing a short summary of what you’ve achieved and learned at work each day. This can help you recognize challenges, see how you’ve grown and plan for the future.
Be kind to yourself. It’s logical to beat yourself up if you don’t stick to your resolutions all the time. However, as the American Psychological Association reminds us in the article “Making your New Year’s resolution stick”, it’s completely normal to make a misstep now and then. Instead of getting down on yourself, learn from your mistake — and then get yourself back on track as soon as possible.
If you want to keep your career resolutions for the long term, you need to change your day to day habits. So, determine what you need to adapt, incorporate your new behaviors into your day and you can greatly increase your chances of success.