Many resolve to improve themselves in some capacity in the new year: lose weight, get in shape, get a promotion, make more money, spend more time with family and friends, work less, etc. But career achieving goals is a complex business–they take time, thought and strategy. Small, simple changes lay the foundation for major changes and transitions. Progress is incremental, so start small and build on what you achieve as you improve yourself and your quality of work over the course of the year. Here are a few ways to advance your career goals in 2019:
Stop Being Late
The first sign of an organized, serious professional is punctuality. Good, reliable professionals are not late for anything, and nothing signals to others that someone is disorganized and unprofessional than consistently being late. Force yourself to manage your time, to schedule enough time to get ready, get organized and arrive early.
This is Professionalism 101, but it’s always surprising how many people do not follow this advice: stay organized. Be on top of things, be on time, have things filed, be prepared for meetings, etc. Being organized allows you to be efficient, productive and focused. If you constantly have big piles of unorganized papers in disarray on your desk, never have things in the right file, do not update your calendar and do not manage your time, you will have to devote time and energy to find whatever you need whenever you need it and you are working from behind. Invest time in getting organized, it will save you loads of time in the long term. Develop a system that is simple and stick to it.
Meet New People
In the era of “Netflix and chill,” it’s easy to go through the motions at work, participate in water cooler conversation, fulfill work-related social obligations then go home and relax. Or simply just spend time with your own friends. It is objectively easier than going out and meeting new people. But meeting new people in your industry is what keeps you sharp, up-to-date and connected. In terms of job placement, who you know is a valuable currency, so make it part of your job to know as many people as possible. Go to industry events, have your friends in the industry introduce you to their friends, support others in their professional endeavors. It’s as simple as making friends in your own industry, it doesn’t have to be contrived or transactional like an awkward networking event. Get out and go meet new people; it is the lifeblood of your career.
Ask For Feedback
When you have completed a project or major assignment, try to get 15 minutes of a superior’s time for feedback. There is a delicate balance to be struck: you shouldn’t ask for feedback often, but ask for it enough so if an issue arises, it can be addressed before an evaluation. You will be respected for confronting your weaknesses and improving them instead of waiting for colleagues to mention them in a performance review.