How to Make 2016 Your Best Year Ever

Originally published January 8, 2016 by Lindsey Pollak

As you set your New Year’s resolutions (mine include eating less sugar and reading more fiction — book recommendations welcome!), don’t forget to set some professional goals. To get you started, I rounded up career advice that will help young professionals catapult to the next level. And, here’s a secret: If you’re a more seasoned professional, these tips will work for you, too. It’s always smart to go back to the basics for a career reboot no matter what rung of the ladder you’re on.

Focus on Work That Gets Results

“You’re already task-oriented — now, says [career coach Stacia] Pierce, it’s time to resolve to become results-oriented. ‘By becoming more result-oriented, you will also become more productive,’ she says. Start by setting a personal goal to achieve daily milestones. You can do this, Pierce says, ‘by writing a list of top-three goals that need to be accomplished on a daily basis. Even if your overall work list is longer, as long as you accomplish those top-three goals, you will feel more productive overall.’ It’s also smart to align your goals with those of your boss. ‘Find out what is important to her, and include that in your daily count — that way, when you’re done, your boss will also feel your sense of accomplishment.’”Glamour

Keep Learning

“Even if you’re not looking to continue your formal education, look for opportunities to learn and grow within your field. Check out professional societies that often have relevant events, workshops and seminars. The opportunity to learn from peers and industry mentors is important to professional development – at All Points, each team member hosts a monthly seminar throughout the year to share knowledge on different industry related topics. Consider starting something similar in your office.” All Points PR

Connect to Your Professional Community

“When you connect to your professional community it means you are connecting with the most committed and best-connected people in your profession; that has to be worth a little ongoing time and effort when who you know can be so important in terms of successful career management. … Anyone anywhere can join LinkedIn and become actively involved with the profession specific groups, increasing contacts, credibility and visibility. If you live in a metropolitan area, involvement in the local chapter of at least one professional association is the single best thing you can do for your career.CareerCast

Think Beyond the Resume

“If you’re relying on a piece of paper to get you hired in 2016, you might as well also be delivering it to your hiring manager of choice via carrier pigeon (wait a second…that might work). Commit this coming year to choosing alternative approaches to advance your career and to not pulling out your resume until asked point-blank for it by a fellow human who is looking you directly in the eye at the time. Focus on creating reputation-building work that can be shared. Dig into pruning and strengthening your professional networks on LinkedIn or Twitter. Send cold emails. Ask for introductions. Invite anyone and everyone for coffee and collect a single career tip from each meeting. Follow any or all of these ideas and you’ll end 2016 much further ahead than if you’d spent months thinking about how to bulletize your work experience and pair your achievements with just the right action verb.”Forbes

Become a Better Time Manager

“Time is an invaluable asset and should be spent wisely. Learning where to expend energy, and where not to, has innumerable benefits, including less stress, more free time, fewer mistakes and improved production. Forbes writer Jeff Boss suggests spending a week making a list of everyday distractions – the things that occupy time throughout the day but serve little purpose. Then eliminate them, or set aside an hour every day for tending to those diversions.”International Business Times

What’s on your career resolution list? I’d love to hear – please share with me in the comments!

Lindsey Pollak is the leading voice on millennials in the workplace, trusted by global companies, universities, and the world’s top media outlets — and, most importantly, by millennials themselves. A New York Times bestselling author, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her keynote speeches have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.

 

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