Posted on 3/01/2019 by Tracey George MIRP
More than two thirds of people in the UK have made New Year’s resolutions they haven’t kept. This year, instead of attempting to eat more healthily, get more exercise or save money yet again, why not concentrate on boosting your career instead? New year is an ideal time to take stock of where you are, decide where you want to be and work out what you need to get you there.
Here are 8 ways to kick-start your career in 2019.
1. Create a 5-year plan
If you want to give your career a boost, one of the most important things to do is to decide on your long-term career aspirations. Take some time to sit down and think about where you really want to be in 5 years’ time. What areas of your job do you most enjoy and want to expand and what really motivates you at work? Would you prefer to become a specialist in your field or move up into managing others?
Once you know where you want to be, you can break that goal down into the steps you’ll need to take to get there. What skills, experience, qualifications or contacts do you need to meet each of those steps? Don’t forget to revisit and update your plan regularly as you progress towards your goals.
2. Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill could be something that fits into your 5-year plan, or it could be something entirely unrelated to your job. It’s about keeping your mental or physical skills sharp and maintaining your ability to learn, as well as renewing your energy and enthusiasm.
The key to learning a new skill is to set aside time to study or practice and sticking to that schedule, even when the first flush of enthusiasm has worn off. Setting yourself a goal such as a test, qualification or challenge is a good incentive to keep at it.
3. Go paperless
Sorting out your physical environment is one of the best ways to give yourself mental clarity and storing everything in digital format makes it much easier to find in the future. Be disciplined about scanning and filing paper documents and then recycling the original. There are now loads of great digital tools out there that work far more efficiently than their paper equivalents, like Google Calendar, ToDoist or Evernote.
4. Clean up your email inbox
The average office worker receives around 120 emails per day and it’s very easy for your inbox to get so cluttered you can no longer find the information you need and messages get lost before you can reply to them.
Here are some easy ways to organise your inbox:
- Create folders and sub-folders to file messages (although it’s better to only use a few folders and search for emails than create sub-folders for every project)
- Set up rules to automatically send emails into folders, eg you can send newsletters to a “To Read” folder to go through weekly
- Use categories and colours to easily identify emails in your inbox
- Many email applications allow you to schedule emails to send later, so you don’t have to return to your inbox
- Unsubscribe from any newsletters or regular emails that you haven’t read in the past 6 months
- Turn off notifications – have set times to go through your emails and stick to them
5. Stay healthy at work
Adopting healthier behaviour at work is good for your mental and physical wellbeing but can also make you more productive and enthusiastic.
Some simple ways to be healthier include:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Go for a walk at lunchtime to stretch your legs and clear your head
- Suggest walking meetings when appropriate
- Pack a healthy lunch instead of buying it (good for your wallet and your waistline)
- Get up and talk to people instead of sending emails
- Drink fewer caffeinated drinks and more water
- Take a proper break (56% of British workers don’t take their full lunch break, with the average worker only taking 27 minutes)
6. Update your CV
Even if you’re not looking for a new job right now, it’s a good idea to regularly update your CV. Recording your responsibilities, qualifications and achievements is much easier when they’re fresh in your mind than trying to remember everything under an application deadline.
Don’t forget to also update your LinkedIn profile and online portfolio / website (if you have one) to match.
7. Keep track of your accomplishments
A common characteristic of high performers is that they are happy to blow their own trumpet. Keeping track of the things you’ve achieved over the last year can be useful for future job hunting or pay negotiations but can also just be a great way to boost your self-esteem and combat imposter syndrome.
Make a note of all your accomplishments over the past year, plus any job-related paperwork that demonstrates your skills or appreciation for your work. Thank you notes from your clients, boss or colleagues, course certificates, records of seminars and conferences attended, awards won and performance review records should all be kept together.
8. Build up your network
It’s estimated that 70% of jobs are never advertised externally but instead offered to an internal candidate or someone already familiar to the employers. When you’re ready to make the next move in your career, having a wide network of industry contacts is a huge advantage.
Meeting people face to face is the best way to build up your list of contacts; through attending networking events and industry conferences and joining groups, professional associations and alumni networks. Make sure you connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and keep in touch with them whenever you can.
Keeping up with these resolutions will definitely give you a helping hand when you’re climbing the career ladder. And when you are ready to make your next move, don’t forget to get in touch with TPP Recruitment on 020 7198 6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy new year!