Depending on how 2014 treated you, the dawn of a new year is either a welcome chance to start over or an opportunity to continue building on what you’re already creating. Either way, it’s a good time to engage in a little self-reflection, so that next year brings you more of what you want in your career and your life, and less of what drove you crazy during the past 12 months.
(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)
Here are a few suggestions for new year’s resolutions that will catapult your career to the next level:
1. Stop beating yourself up.
There’s a lot to be said for doing a thorough postmortem when you’ve made a mistake at work, but once you’ve determined what went wrong and figured out a way to minimize the chances of making the same mistake again, let it go. Perseverating on the subject will only make you feel bad about yourself, and it won’t help you, your co-workers, your employer, your clients, or your career. If you do one thing differently in 2015, give yourself a break.
2. Say “yes” more…
…to invitations, to projects, to chances to expand your skill set.
3. Say “no” more…
…to unnecessary work that doesn’t boost your personal brand or career trajectory, to dealing with someone else’s problems or responsibilities, to things you don’t want to and don’t need to do.
4. Practice every day.
Whatever it is you love to do — write, code, build boxes, teach yoga — set aside time each and every working day to get better at it. This is especially important if you’re not making money from your dream job just yet. Over time, we all become the people who do the sorts of things we do every day.
5. Learn something new.
Seek out opportunities to learn the skills that will move you to the next rung on the ladder, especially if it makes you nervous to do so. Don’t dismiss free or low-cost methods of learning what you need to know. Sometimes, working with another department on a project that’s different from what you usually do can be as valuable as signing up for a class.
6. Meet new people.
Don’t just seek out networking events. Broaden your web of connections by making new acquaintances in unexpected ways. You never know where or when you’ll meet the person who’ll be your next boss, client, or co-worker.
Remember when you were a kid and you spent long hours debating whether to be an astronaut or a rock star? Seek to regain that blue-sky thinking. Dream big. Just because you’ve gained the maturity and perspective to know that changing careers takes time doesn’t meant that you should cut yourself off from the passion and optimism that letting your mind and heart wander imbues. Don’t forget to ask yourself what you want to be when you grow up, even if you’ve been wearing your grown-up suit for a long time now. The answer might surprise and inspire you.
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