10 New Year's Resolutions for Your Career in 2020
Whether you're just starting out in the workforce or have been in your career for years, it's never too early or too late to aim higher in whatever you want to do and figure out exactly what you want to accomplish. Saying and doing, however? Two totally different things.
That dream job or promotion isn't going to fall into your lap. If you want to achieve your goals for 2020, you need to take action, actual tangible steps. And the timing couldn't be more perfect. With a new year/decade upon us, there are things you should do to start it off right. If you're determined to improve your career situation in 2020, these 10 new year's resolutions will steer you in the right direction.
Striving for a specific salary, promotion or raiseThose people who say money doesn't buy happiness clearly already have enough of it because ask anyone with debt coming out of their ears, who wants to buy a new home, or wants to increase their investment portfolio, and they'll tell you there's never enough of it. People wanting more money isn't really a surprising new year resolution but it's how you go about getting that that is the real issue here. Whether it's a learning a new skill to pad that resume or simply become more productive, you need to know that you have to put the work in to deserve that salary bump. But you also need to make sure that all your hard work is being noticed. You don't want all that awesome productivity going to waste.
As far as actually voicing your opinion that an increase is in order, you need to be brave and call a meeting with your manager — but be prepared with a list of your expectations, how you've proven yourself, and if it's on a let's wait-and-see basis, suggest sending her/him weekly updates on what you've done. Sometimes when it's laid out before a person, it simply can't be denied.
Be a positive member of a teamOffice politics can be a bit of a gong show but by not taking things personally, getting involved in smarmy gossip or disagreements between peers, it'll serve you well. By staying out of drama and maintaining a forward-looking attitude, those vibes will hopefully trickle down to the others. Not only is it in your best interest but also your employer, who will see your mindset as a job well done and perhaps, allow them to see you in an eventual leadership role.
And, hey, even if you work independently, that doesn't mean you can't be positive for yourself too. A little positivity never hurt anyone.
Ask for feedback or helpEveryone wants to be — or, at least, appear to be — self-sufficient. Doing something on your own shows knowledge and skills but no one is perfect, nor are they experts at everything. So when the times come that you need a little assistance, don't be afraid to ask. Take this career goals example as a learning opportunity, a way of improving on something that would've been sub-standard had you not sought help. Some might think asking it's a sign of vulnerability but there's never any shame in it. In fact, there's a certain respect shown to those who are able to confront their weaknesses in order to make something better.
That being said, don't do this all the time. You don't want to appear like you need help with everything, otherwise your role and the responsibilities given to you might eventually be second-guessed.
Know how to handle stressThere are some who don't deal well with stress and you could be one of them. But if a higher-up witnesses you overreacting or alarmed or panicky, those moments will unfortunately be burned in their brain. When you feel those emotions hitting a low, you need to better manage the stress, whether it's standing up and stretching, getting some fresh air, taking that much-needed break to finally eat something, basically anything that will help you change your frame of mind. Reducing stress allows you to compartmentalize any emotion you may have about a decision, so if coolness and calmness are what's coursing through your veins, then you're in an ideal statement of mind to handle any situation or decision that needs to be made that is thrown your way. Make this more than a short-term career goal and an overall life ambition.
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Step outside your comfort zoneIt's easy to get too comfortable — in anything when we do. But when it comes to work, the days in and days out can start to meld together. Wake up, eat, work, go home, sleep, repeat, right? For those of you who are in a bit of a rut or know you need to take that next step and enact that new year resolution now before you find yourself in that deadly routine. Volunteer to lead the next meeting, approach your superior about wanting to take on more, take a course that will elevate your skills, get to know a co-worker a little better, things that might normally scare you but will, in the long run, help you grow professionally.
RELATED: How to boost your confidence at work.
Put in less overtimeThere are days where you need to finish up an assignment and keeps you at the office long after you're supposed to be there — but that should be the exception, not the rule. If you're paid by the hour and clocking in and out, that's different, but for salaried workers who are putting in extra time or are accessible virtually anytime during any given day, then it's time to speak up. Or stop feeling guilty whenever you leave the office on time. If your work life starts to stray into your home life, it should be a goal for 2020 to put your personal connections a priority.
RELATED: 10 signs you're heading for burnout diagnosis (and what to do about it).
Be on timeOn the flip side, there are those who have a total and complete disregard for punctuality. Don't be that person. If being organized and serious about your job is the image you want to present, being late for work (or a training session, or a conference call, or a lunch meeting) shows you don't have your act together. It also shows a blatant disregard for others' time, and that's never good.
SEE ALSO: 11 habits successful people always try to live by.
Organization is keyIf you want to be look professional, it's important to stay organized. But it isn't only about appearances. Being on top of assignments and deadlines, filing things on time, being prepared for meetings, work at a desk that doesn't look like a bomb just hit it, all of those things allow you to be focused and productive and work efficiently. Invest in the time to straighten yourself out. You're worth it.
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Commit to networkingJust like you should keep your resume as current as possible (really, it never hurts to have that document at the ready), you need to always be aware of your worth, how much you're valued by your company, and whether or not you're being valued enough. The idea of networking might be intimidating but by attending an event every month (from team-building activities and happy hours with co-workers, to career fairs and industry function), you'll sharpen those socializing skills and perhaps gain insight about a job that you never thought of before. It's all about who you know.
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Use up your vacation timeMorale is important and there's nothing worse for it than feeling like you've been working for nothing. Using up your vacation time, whether it's for a holiday or a staycation, is important. It allows you to rejuvenate and, better yet, not burn out which, in turn, increases your productivity levels when you return to the grind. No matter how much you love your job, or if you think taking vacation makes you look lazy or weak (trust us, you won't), you need to prioritize yourself. So book that time off already!
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