New Year Inspiration: Professional Resolutions to Boost your Career

Happy new year and welcome to 2020! Quite understandably, many of us see the new year as a clean slate or blank canvas for new opportunities. So what are your resolutions this year? Fewer doughnuts, less beer, more exercise?

Personal goals are brilliant, so fill that fridge with salad, give away those last few bottles (go on, hand them over) and get back into the gym by all means. However, have you thought about your professional targets for the year?

This year, seize the chance to develop professionally so you can perform at your best and even increase your employability. Don’t worry if you’re not looking to progress or move on right now, committing to some professional resolutions can still enrich your working life and add some new strings to your bow.

You can, of course, tailor yours to suit your own wants and needs, but we’ve put together some examples of professional resolutions to get you started:

Map your path to promotion

As it stands, you may be happy in your position but do you know what options are available to you in the future? Consider the positions available at your company and conduct research into the typical progression path for your current role, or even into different roles that match your skillset. This will give you a good idea of what may lie ahead for you.

Once you know where you could go or where you want to be, start exploring ways to get there: what experience do you need to build? Are there courses available that could assist you? Have you sought feedback from your colleagues and superiors? Gathering all this information will help you set some really satisfying professional targets to work towards throughout the year.

Make the most of development opportunities

Managerial schemes, work experience in other departments, projects, shadowing, workstreams. Do you know what’s going on within your workplace? There may be opportunities and launchpads that you didn’t even know existed. Have a chat with your Manager to see what’s available, even if there is nothing suitable at this time, showing an interest will always work in your favour.

If there is any upcoming training, or chances to participate in a project, it’s time to say yes! You may build new business relationships or develop new and existing skills. Additionally, getting involved will raise your profile at work.

Identify areas that you believe to be your weaknesses and outline ways you can improve these. You can then continue working towards turning them into strengths. You’ll find a new level of confidence at work if you eradicate some of your weak spots!

Explore qualifications and certificates

How’s your GCSE in Woodwork working out for you? Unless your boss asks you to whittle them a new bookend, I doubt it’s helping you much in the office.

There are professional qualifications available that could either open up new opportunities to you or increase your employability and worth to a business.

Many employers offer to support their employees in gaining certificates and qualifications, so make sure you pencil in some time with your Learning and Development team or with your Manager.

If your dream job requires qualifications you don’t currently have, don’t forget that the majority of colleges and institutions such as the Open University offer part-time or home learning courses.

Volunteer

If you’re looking to give your CV that extra bit of ‘pizazz’, a great way to do this is to get involved in charity work or volunteering. This is not only fulfilling and brilliant for the wider community, but can really make you stand out in a competitive professional arena.

Having a rewarding project outside of work can do wonders for your motivation, and volunteering may actually develop you in ways you weren’t expecting; you can improve your communication skills, build your emotional intelligence and gain new practical skills.

The added benefit is that you will appear in a good light with your boss or a prospective employer; evidence of charity work or volunteering showcases the fact that you are a caring, dedicated people-person. All great qualities!

Consider the benefits of making the jump

No matter how comfortable and content you may be in a job, if you are not reaching your full potential, developing professionally or using your strongest skills, it will be hard to be truly satisfied and stay motivated. Things may soon start to feel a little stagnant.

We’re not saying that you should hand your notice in tomorrow and pursue your lifelong ambition of being a footballer. However, it might be worth weighing up the pros and cons of moving on.

Even if you decide against it, you can be happy and safe in the knowledge that you’re where you need to be right now. If you think that now’s the time for a change, then carefully consider the paths and options available to you – and get that CV updated!

Whatever 2020 holds for you, make this the year that you see your work life change for the better. Whether you follow our resolutions or create your own, stick to them and this really could be your year!

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