How to Keep Your New Year’s Career Resolutions

Once again, a new year has arrived. Over the Christmas break, many of us have reflected on our previous year at work and what direction we’d like to take in 2022. Now that your feet are back under your desk, it’s time to put down some concrete plans so you can start achieving your new year career goals.

The bedrock of all New Years’ career resolutions is well-defined and meaningful goals. However, with rapid change and disruption in many business environments, it’s wise to think about which goals might need to be adjusted to allow for some flexibility.

No matter where you currently are in your profession, setting solid resolutions for the year ahead is an excellent way to keep you focused and energised – but the trick is giving yourself the best chance of actually keeping those goals. Here, we’ve distilled the most important elements of career planning to help you reach your personal best.

1. Nail Down Your Goals

Now is the perfect time to reflect on the previous 12 months and what you would like to achieve or do differently in the next twelve. At this time of year, a holiday interlude has hopefully given you time to recharge your batteries and reflect on the past year. What did you accomplish? Did you try any new approaches in your role? Where did you discover room for improvement? Perhaps you’re considering other technology roles you’d like to transition into. You might want to get your Python certification, get promoted from data analyst to senior analyst or work your way towards leading projects.

Setting goals with a balance of realism and ambition can help you get off to a great start. A tried and tested method for goal setting is the SMART approach: making goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Setting quantifiable and attainable goals with realistic deadlines will help you track progress and keep you motivated as you make headway.

Write down your goals, breaking them down into incremental steps. Then, set a timeline for yourself, with small milestones included along the way, so you can recognise and reward yourself for each small accomplishment. Think of it as project management, with you as the project.

Some questions to consider when goal setting include:

  • What can I realistically achieve short-term (e.g. within three months)?
  • Which goals are more likely to be achieved in the long-term (two to five years)?
  • What support do I need to help me reach these goals? (more funding or time, fewer distractions, management support?)

2: Review Your Routines

No goal is accomplished without an effective structure in place to support it. As author and leadership coach John C. Maxwell has noted: “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

A close examination of how you spend your time each day is a good starting point. Keep a diary tracking your daily work activity to uncover consistent patterns in your time management. You might discover an inordinate amount of time is spent on activities that could be compressed into shorter periods or eliminated altogether. Excessive meetings, checking email throughout the day, using social media or other work or personal activities could be unnecessarily draining your time and productivity.

Once you’ve identified where you can tighten up your routine, you can start to think about how to allocate those newly created hours towards specific and regular activities that work towards achieving your goals.

3. Invest in Your Development

With your career goals set in place and an efficient routine pinned down, you now have a range of options for fulfilling your career resolutions. Investing in your development doesn’t have to mean spending money on formal qualifications or training. It could be working as a mentor if you want to improve your coaching skills, or networking with more experienced colleagues to find out what makes them tick. You could improve your existing tech skills by participating in hackathons or volunteering to work on projects in different industries from your current employer. All of these will look great on your CV

If you go down the formal training route, there are plenty of options ranging from free webinars to university qualifications. Distance education is ideal if you are juggling a full-time job as well, or family commitments. Or you could check out courses through big companies such as Google and Apple.

Summary

If you’ve set realistic and measurable goals flexible enough to withstand some external disruptions, you’re well on your way to keeping your career resolutions. Remember to celebrate small achievements along the way so you can enjoy the process, not just the results.

No career resolution is complete without reaching out to experts who are best placed to help you find your next role. At Emanate Technology, our team has extensive experience in technology and digital recruitment and advising IT professionals on landing their ideal job. To learn more about the tech jobs we have available, get in touch with our team in Brisbane or Canberra.