18 Career Resolutions to Make for 2018
A new year invites the opportunity to reflect on the past to help shape future ambitions. Why then do nearly 80% of resolutions fail to make it to March?
As a “student, practitioner, and teacher of Buddhism,” Wendy Haylett is committed to practicing mindfulness and cultivating self-awareness. As a certified behavioral analyst and employment coach, she’s keenly aware of how these practices can benefit professionals. “A resolution is just a thought. In the real world where the action happens, a positive action requires effort. Unless we act on our plan to physically change our behavior, resolutions remain thoughts. And, as is the nature of thoughts, they arise and disappear.”
Perhaps we aim, then, to make 2018 resolutions that are thoughtful and action bound.Start Slideshow
1. Be Mindful
Haylett explains the importance of mindfulness: “The more you practice, on a moment by moment basis, the more likely you will be to self-correct in the moment. . . We typically have trouble self-correcting, because we do things habitually or from a reactionary pattern. We never actually see ourselves doing them until we complete the action. Being mindful is the process needed to accomplish change.”
2. Confront Habits that Derail Productivity
Productivity is precious and worth protecting. While social media can foster meaningful communication, it can also disrupt concentration.
Haylett advises: “If you want to do less of something: for example, looking at Facebook when you should be working, resolving to do that won’t accomplish it. But by observing yourself, your intent will help you close your Facebook browser tab or application as soon you notice yourself doing it.”
3. Cultivate Professional Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is a tremendous professional asset. It means you know your strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals. It’s the product of experience, soul searching, good management and an honest internal narrative.
Haylett explains: “Successful people share the common trait of self-awareness. They recognize the situations that will make them successful, and this makes it easier for them to find ways of achieving objectives that resonate with their motivations. They also understand their limitations and where they are not effective, and this helps them understand what does not inspire them or what will not motivate them to succeed.”
4. Own Your Baggage
Forging a career trajectory is hard work. We encounter myriad obstacles along the way. Sometimes we get stuck for various reasons. Some of them we can’t help; some of them we must own.
Haylett notes: “Maybe there is fear, timidity, anger, or jealousy that robs you of the energy you need to reach your goals. Maybe it’s procrastination, perfectionism, laziness, boredom. If you look, you will see. If you don’t take a good look at yourself, you are only seeing half of the potential challenges to your goals and half of the potential strengths you can harness for success in reaching those goals.”
5. Hone Your Aim
Are you eyeing a promotion, a new role, a career overhaul? Decide what you’re targeting, and start the year off with a clear sense of your professional purpose.See Open Jobs
6. Take A Risk
Understand what hinders you, then resolve to overcome it. If you’re nervous about public speaking, for example, make 2018 your year to make your peace with that.
7. Invite Mentorship
Mentoring relationships can enhance your skills and perspective in a host of important ways. Pursue one. It can be live-changing.
8. You Are What You Read
Adopting a professional reading list gives you the chance to contemplate concepts beyond your professional sphere. It looks impressive when you can mention to a supervisor or hiring manager that you’re indulging your professional curiosity. More importantly, it seeds your professional growth.
10. Refresh Your Brand
Even if you’re not actively job searching, refreshing your resume can be a great way to take stock of where you are professionally and to prepare for whatever 2018 may have in store. Cultivating a refined, representative personal brand takes time and reflection. Embrace the project.
11. Embrace Your Communications
Review your most and least successful correspondences from 2017. Analyze why some pieces succeed and some don’t. Next, see whose are working, and ask that colleague to mentor you. Another approach: take a writing course or find a juicy read on the topic.
The ability to communicate clearly and accurately appears in nearly every post for nearly every type of position. Enhancing this skill will benefit you.
12. Join a Professional Society
Nerd it up with those who do what you do and love what you love.
Sometimes, we get so hung up on our stuff that we forget the vital role we play in our human community. It feels good to make lunch for a hungry veteran, or to help a little boy select a winter coat that’s warmer than the one he walked in wearing. Our world needs our kindness. Let’s work together in 2018.
14. Build a Skill
Whether it’s enhancing your database know-how, upgrading your research prowess, refining foreign language skills or inviting enhanced management training, make professional development a priority.
READ MORE: These 10 Skills Will Drastically Improve Your Chances of Being Hired
15. Assume a Leadership Role
Lead a project for your team or consider a position that includes leadership responsibilities. Whether you’re just dipping your toe in the water, or you’re ready to take the plunge, invite leadership responsibilities in 2018.
Deploy a strategy to revamp your inbox, workspace, files and contacts. Become the strategic organizer you know you can be.
READ MORE: The Multi-taskers’ Guide To Staying Organized
17. Honor Your Resolutions
In the Empire Strikes Back, Yoda famously remarks: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Approach your resolutions the same way.
“Maybe a realistic professional resolution is not to make a resolution, but to first look inside and observe our thoughts and behaviors, then act in each moment to adjust what we don’t like. . . Mindfulness of what is in front of you means you can’t think about your fears, resolutions, shoulds, and plans. You will naturally act on, or interact with, what is happening in the moment. If you habitually do that, your behavior will change, in alignment what needs to be done.”
18. Be Proud of Yourself in 2018!
You’ve got this. Happy New Year!
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