Five New Year’s Resolutions for Professional Success in 2019

notebook sitting on computer stating: New Year's Resolution, next to pen and headphones

A new year calls for a renewed sense of focus, direction, and motivation in your career. It’s a time to let go of the bad habits that have been holding you back professionally, and replace them with newer, better strategies that will help you to have a year of growth and success in 2019.

But, where do you start? When you’re thinking about the year ahead and all that you want to achieve or the ways you want to challenge yourself professionally, it helps to get specific. While having high-level goals in mind (like increased job satisfaction, or getting a better position, or achieving more work/life balance) is a useful exercise, it’s also just as important to have a clear roadmap for how you’re going to get there.

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As we head into the new year, consider making a few very purposeful, strategic professional resolutions that, collectively, will transform the way you work in 2019:

Make yourself uncomfortable

In the coming year, make a point to challenge yourself at work, not just once, but on a regular, ongoing basis. This is how real growth happens – when you’re taken outside of your comfort zone and forced to see other points of view, to adapt to a changing landscape, or to learn new things. If you find yourself “coasting” or simply going through the same, rote motions at work year after year, now more than ever is the time to break out of your career rut and expose yourself to new ideas, new perspectives, or new people that challenge your previously held approaches and beliefs.

Expand your network

If you’re considering entering the job market in 2019, having a wide network of contacts in your industry and field is by far one of the most valuable tools you can have. But growing and nurturing a healthy professional network takes time and effort. While you don’t want to overload yourself with unnecessary networking events, you should make a point at least once a month to engage in some kind of activity, either connecting with people online or in person, that helps you to build a strong network of people or resources that could be great assets in the year to come.

Learn something new

Whether you’re learning a new skill, technology, tool, area of study, language, or another competency, acquiring valuable knowledge in 2019 can accomplish many things, including making you a stronger, more well-rounded candidate on the job market, filling in any gaps in your resume or CV, or, bringing your more job satisfaction and personal fulfillment at work.  

Have that difficult conversation

If you’ve been reluctant to have difficult or awkward conversations with your boss in the past – conversations that are necessary to move your career forward and help you to achieve your goals – resolve to tackle these issues in 2019 that have been holding you back. Perhaps you’re ready to ask for a raise or negotiate a higher title; maybe you need a different schedule with more flexible hours or the chance to work from home; or maybe you’ve been avoiding telling your own family that you’re ready for a career change or job move. It’s up to you to confront these important professional and personal conversations head-on if you want to see better results in the year ahead. 

Be honest with yourself

What do you really want when it comes to your career? Honest, thoughtful self-reflection and a healthy dose of self-awareness when it comes to your professional life can go a long way in helping you to set realistic, clear goals that directly align with what you want to achieve. Without knowing exactly what you want and what your top priorities are (money? Status? Family time? Other perks or benefits?), you’ll find it difficult to create – and, more importantly, stick to – truly meaningful professional resolutions that will get you where you want to be in 2019.

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