Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Ten Popular New Year’s Career Resolutions and How to Achieve Them

The new year provides the perfect opportunity to reassess your
career and resolve to make changes

The start of a new year prompts us to think about what we want to achieve in our lives. As we assess our current situation, we may decide it's time to make some changes. This might be as simple as gaining new skills, improving performance or asking for a pay rise, or as major as changing careers. 

Here's my list of ten of the most popular new year’s career resolutions along with some tips on how to achieve them:

Find a better job – If you’re unhappy in your current job it could be time to make a move. Just be sure you are making the move for the right reasons and that your decision is a rational and practical one. Ask yourself what you want you want in a new job that you current job doesn’t provide. It may be that those things your current role lacks can be achieved with some effort on your part. Seek advice if necessary to make sure you consider all your options and make a sound decision you won’t regret later.

Change careers – There are times throughout our careers when we wonder if we’re on the right path. It can be a difficult crossroad to be at, particularly when you’ve already invested so much into your current career. It’s a good idea to get help from a qualified career counsellor/coach who can help you identify your interests, transferable skills, attributes and life goals. Most importantly, you should conduct an audit of your current values; it’s possible your values have changed prompting you to question your career. With this understanding, you’ll be in the best position to make sound decisions.

Get a promotion – Gaining a promotion is at the top of many people’s lists. For some it’s an impossible dream in their current role, for others it may take some performance improvement, extra training or gaining a certain qualification. Identify what it will take to achieve your goal and go for it!

Earn more money – If earning more money is at the top of your list of new year’s career resolutions, you’ll need to think about how you can practically achieve your goal. Can you earn more in your current role? Do you need to change jobs, get a promotion or become more qualified? Perhaps there are other areas outside of your main job where you can focus your attention to generate more income. This could be taking on a second job, turning a hobby into a profitable side business or becoming a freelance consultant.

Get qualified – The new year is a common time for us to think about how we can gain a new qualification. If you are already working and can’t take time off from work, consider distance learning. Many colleges and universities now offer distance education, online learning or blended learning solutions.

Learn new skills – Leaning of new skills is a great way to enhance your career. It can lead to more responsibility, a promotion, increased salary, higher job satisfaction and new opportunities. You can learn new skills from a mentor, by working on a special project, job shadowing or from structured workplace skills training.

Better working conditions – If the conditions in your workplace are less than ideal why not set out to change them? We often become complacent and accept things the way they are, particularly if we’ve worked for the same employer for many years. Some of the conditions you might consider improving are those related to workplace health and safety, physical environment, policies & procedures or work-life balance.

Eliminate conflict – Experiencing conflict at work can be hugely detrimental not only to your performance but to your emotional and physical health too. The most common forms of conflict result from personality clashes, poor teamwork and bad management. If you’re unable to effectively manage the conflict yourself, speak to your supervisor or team leader, manager or a specialist workplace counsellor.

Working less hours – Working excessive hours can really take its toll. The problem might not be that the work is unpaid, but the hours spent at work are excessive taking away from valuable personal and family time. If your new year’s resolution is to work less, think about how you can achieve this. Perhaps you can work smarter by delegating tasks or streamlining processes. Brainstorm potential solutions then work through them to see which is the most practical.

Better work-life balance - Our poll, which you’ll find at our www.careerworx.com.au and www.careerworx.co.uk websites, shows that more than 50% of you value work-life balance. That’s not surprising since it’s the most common thing on the wish-lists of my clients when developing a career action plan. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital for our psychological and physical wellbeing and there are practical steps that can be taken to achieve an ideal work-life balance.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways our work lives can be improved and the new year provides the perfect opportunity to reassess your career and resolve to make changes.

If you need help from a professional, why not visit www.careerworx.co.uk or www.careerworx.com.au 

Which of these new year’s career resolutions is on your list?

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, BSocSc(Couns), DipCareerGuid,  MICG is a Career Counsellor/Career Coach at CareerWorx www.careerworx.co.uk. 

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