5 career resolutions to make and keep in 2021
The New Year: a time to reflect on the successes of the last twelve months and plan for your next adventures. It’s likely you weren’t able to achieve quite as much as you set out to at the beginning of 2020 (remember that pesky pandemic throwing a wrench in the works?) but that’s no reason to let your goals for 2021 fall by the wayside.
We’ve written plenty of blogs about resolutions over the years, but this past year has been a little different to most. If there’s one thing we’re feeling as we lurch towards the end of December, it’s exhaustion. So this year, we’re bringing you five career resolutions that are easy to make and, more importantly, keep in the new year.
Build your network
No matter what stage of your career you’re at, reaching out to new connections can be daunting, but that’s what makes it so important. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and either reaching out to colleagues in your organisation who you’re not too close with, or taking a leap and establishing a relationship with professionals outside your immediate workplace will help build a meaningful and supportive network.
A great way to start this process off is by asking questions. Reach out to your more experienced colleagues and find out how they got to where they are, and how you can get there. Don’t assume that someone else will do the heavy lifting first; by seeking out colleagues within and outside of your workplace, you’ll be showing confidence, willingness to learn, curiosity, and good communication skills.
If you don’t know where to start, why not try inviting a colleague out for coffee, whether in-person or virtual? For people you don’t know, you could send them a message on LinkedIn or the Professional Mentoring Platform with a little about you and why you’re reaching out. Who knows? You might even get a career mentor out of it!
Keep a record of your achievements
If we learnt anything this year, it’s that time can get away from us. 2020 simultaneously felt like two months and two years, and everything pre-COVID like another world.
Instead of wracking your brain trying to remember all your career successes plus the knowledge and skills you gained every time you have to write a cover letter, an easy way to get ahead is to keep a record of your achievements throughout the year. There are a few ways to do this, from having an up-to-date portfolio, creating a website that you refresh with all your newest info, posting on LinkedIn, or even putting pen to paper. It doesn’t matter how you do it, what matters is that it gets done.
When you’re updating your resume or writing a fresh cover letter, you’ll thank yourself.
Do one thing a day for your health at work
As the saying goes: your health is your wealth! An easy and achievable resolution to set this New Year is doing one positive thing for your health every day at work. From meditating to keep your brain healthy, from going for a walk or doing stretches during lunchtime, your mental and physical health need to be a priority even at work.
If you’re able, you could seek out a standing desk, or arrange a friendly game of sport or something similar to help rally your colleagues to set the same goal for 2021!
Learn a new skill
…anything will do! You’ve got 365 days to get creative and try your hand at something new. Whether you’re taking on a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try, or upskilling at your current job, learning a new skill is a fun and easy way to tick a resolution off your list.
Again there are a couple ways to go about this:
- Have something in mind and bring it to your employer to see if they can help you along your way. Maybe your workplace is looking to present more in 2021; instead of them wasting time and resources finding a suitable presenter to join your team, you could ask them to send you to some workshops or training. This will show your employer that you’re proactive and eager to learn, and will contribute to the culture of your workplace.
- Go solo! There are a plethora of avenues down which you can go to learn some new job-related skills. LinkedIn learning, TAFE, extra uni classes, and UTS Open can provide courses that will enhance your career skills and give you a leg up. From leadership skills to coding, there are a range of upskilling courses available.
- Keep it easy breasy. One of the great things about learning new skills is how wide-ranging and dynamic you can be. Whether it’s joining a local athletic club for the first time, or attending a pottery class, learning new skills can expand your network, improve your work-life balance, and keep you relaxed outside of work hours.
Expand your mind
Luckily, here at UTS Careers we’re not the only ones looking after your personal and professional development. A great employment-related resolution you can set this year is to read at least one book related to enhancing your career or excelling in your chosen field, or maybe listening to a career-related podcast.
Again, you could get your colleagues involved as part of a social club. Career development is much more exciting as a group!
No matter your goals for the next year, we wish you luck! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.