The New Year is finally upon us, and that means it’s time to reflect on the past year and make some changes for 2013. While many are making personal resolutions this time of year, it’s important to focus on your professional resolutions, as well.
There’s a ton of pressure to keep up with a resolution throughout the year, and yet by the end of the first month, we tend to fail. So when it comes to improving your professional life in 2013, it can be best to simply focus on avoiding some big mistakes when it comes to your career.
1. Neglecting Your Online Presence. When’s the last time you took a good look at your entire Web presence? When’s the last time you conducted a Google search of your name, or went through your LinkedIn profile with a fresh eye? When’s the last time you sent out a Tweet or updated your blog with fresh insight? Keeping a clean online presence is important even if you’re comfortable in your job, as it shows an ongoing commitment to your professional growth. This year, commit to being more proactive in engaging with your networks and industry online.
2. Getting Sloppy With Your Networking Habits. You may have a job or career you love, but you can’t afford to stop networking just because you’re comfortable. Networking with professionals in your industry–and even in other industries you’re interested in–is important to focus on 365 days a year. Why? You never know when a new, better opportunity will arise. Or when you will need a new position. Plus, you’ve still got a lot to learn, and keeping in touch with other admirable professionals is one of the best ways to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest happenings in your industry. Vow to attend networking events a few times this year, and make a habit of reaching out to professionals whose work you admire, either via LinkedIn or a simple email or phone call.
3. Shying Away From Change. Maybe there’s a project you wish you could tackle in the office. Maybe your workplace doesn’t offer enough social time, and you’d like to fix that by planning a company picnic. Or, maybe you’ve been putting off taking that online course to improve your marketing expertise. Whatever the case, shying away from change is a big no-no in 2013. This year, vow to seize opportunities to fuel your professional growth, even if you feel apprehensive or apathetic at first. Pushing yourself to grow is monumental to overall skills development.
4. Not Focusing on Your Health. Just how much sleep did you get in 2012? Were you chugging coffee at all hours of the day, skipping exercise, and grabbing lunch from the company snack machine? What about your stress level – was it regularly too high to handle? Make 2013 your year to focus on your well-being – that means mind, body, and soul. No one wants to turn into a professional zombie and failing to focus on your personal health and happiness just leaves room for overwork and stress. In 2013, vow to relax, and finally take that vacation you skipped out on last year. You’ll reap the rewards if you continually take time to recharge.
2013 can be a big year for your professional life if you don’t let old habits get in the way. As you gear up for the New Year, don’t fall into a winter’s slump – follow these tips to keep your professional game sharp for the next 365 days. Good luck!