Got Resolutions...for Work?
1/14/2013 12:15:00 PM
So about 3 weeks into the new year and many are excited and upbeat about their resolutions. But the main reason some fail in keeping resolutions is there is no specific vision; trying to change or do too much at once; or maybe the resolution is not realistic. No matter what your resolution, make them specific and actually map action steps you will take to achieve your goal. I see people with their list of exercises in the gym. Reading health magazines to come up with healthy diets. I applaud that. But one area where we tend to not make resolutions with critical and specific goals? Our careers.
In life there are two circles: your circle of concern and control. The two may overlap, but the circle of control are the issues that you alone have say over. Will you go back to school is in the circle of control whereas, getting a promotion may fall more in line with a concern. You may not get the promotion for reasons beyond your control, but you can go to school to up your chances of a higher level job. You get what I’m saying?
While most resolutions consist of diet and exercise, why not make some 2013 resolutions that you can make work for…well…work? February issues of Essence and Ebony talk great career, finance and motivation tips. I believe in using many resources combined with action, faith and good counsel to pursue goals. Pick up some copies and read. Trust…you’ll be inspired and motivated to get moving. But for now, Ebony.com had a great piece on “4 Career Resolutions for the New Year” by Rich Jones. Let this give you a kick start to move your career into overdrive:
1. Doing your job the best you’ve ever done it
In 2013, commit to being the best at your job no matter how long you’ve been at it. You’ll be less concerned about references when it comes time to make a transition. And you may even find yourself receiving new responsibilities and projects to add to your repertoire.
Additionally, there’s always something you can do better at. If you’ve truly mastered your role, don’t be afraid to ask how you can expand it. Your renewed commitment will be the evidence to back it up. Remember, the objective is development!
2. Work on a significant project with someone you dislike
Interviewers like to assess your ability to work with people and manage conflict. What better way to ace this question than to talk about how you took the initiative to work with someone you’ve disagreed with in the past? At a minimum, you’ll have built a new relationship and ally. You never know how that person may be able to help you down the road. It’s worth a shot!
Do you like everybody? Then try working with someone you’ve never worked with before—preferably from a different team. The above will still apply.
3. Refresh your résumé
You never know when the dream opportunity may present itself. And with so many people vying for the same gigs, applications pile up within days of a position opening. Not applying within the first 48 hours could be the difference between an interview and a foot in your backside.
If you’ve been working for a while, it’s probably been some time since you updated your résumé. Now is a great time to think about all you’ve accomplished in 2012, and what you’d like to accomplish for 2013. Let your résumé reflect your progress and readiness to pursue new opportunities. Change up your professional summary; highlight key responsibilities and successful projects; get rid of (or rework) bullet points for previous jobs that don’t contribute to where you’d like to go next.
Once this is done, make it a point to revisit your résumé quarterly. This will save you the time and stress of trying to get it ready for what could be a dream job—or, at the very least, a better one—should the opportunity present itself.
4. Get out there and network!
Don’t let complacency stop you from meeting interesting people. Many jobs today are found through referrals, and you can’t be referred if nobody knows who you are. Through online social mediums like LinkedIn and Twitter, there’s no reason to not get started finding interesting people and groups that share common interests. It’s easier to find the right info when you surround yourself with the right people, online or in real life.
While everything in your work atmosphere you can’t control, you can make choices and strategize to make the most of every moment. Let this year be the one where you attempt, take action and wait to reap results. It’s one thing to make resolutions work – it’s another to make them work for you - even in your work.