5 New Year’s resolutions that will boost your career in 2021

By Abby Rolfe, Digital Marketing Executive at Professional Academy

That time has come around again. New year, new me. Resolutions are floating around about finally sticking to that gym routine, giving up crisps, or reading more (and scrolling through social media less). But what about your career? It’s important to consider your professional goals for 2021 and make effective resolutions you can actually stick to.

1. Work your way up

For some of us, procrastination is all that’s stopping us from accomplishing our career goals. It seems like something’s always in the way. But fight against the urge to do a deep clean of your bedroom. Your future self will thank you!  

It’s easy to say you simply want a promotion or pay rise within the year. But is it achievable? And what steps will you take to achieve it?

The best way to ensure you’re on track is to keep an open dialogue with your manager. Have a conversation with them about your goals, your job, and where they see you in the future. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your achievements and professional successes from the past year. If you feel like you don’t have enough, think about how to create some!

2. Find a new dream job

If you’re not quite where you want to be career-wise, then the New Year is the perfect time to start fresh with something different and more suited to you. Relax over the Christmas break and come back (full of mince pies) and ready to apply to those dream jobs.

January is a great time to search for a new position, as although the competition may be high, there are more employers with the same attitude as you – start the New Year positively (and with a strong team). If you want some helpful pointers on applying, interviewing, and more, check these pages out:

3. Learn a skill

Knitting. Gardening. Ice sculpting. Pro gaming. Palaeontology (maybe you want to be known as the expert in your friend group in those all-important conversations about dinosaurs). Or perhaps you’d like something more career-focused, such as qualifications in Marketing, Sales, or Management. Whatever sparks your interest, learning a new skill or refining existing ones will ensure you reach your full potential in 2021.

Industries evolve quickly, so it’s important to keep yourself current with trends. Whether you want to develop an area within the realms of your career or something different entirely, learning something new definitely beats spending that time scrolling through social media. 

4. Get organised

Are you constantly wading through piles of paperwork and forgetting where on your clutter-filled desktop you saved that file? Maybe it’s time to get organised. It may seem like a mammoth task, and although you feel like rescheduling to the mythical land of ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, the work now will be worth it in the end!

We all know how to clear out our physical files. Sort. Recycle. Keep. But with more and more digital ones nowadays, it’s easier to forget about the mess hiding on your PC. Want some tips? Find out how to file and find information the smart way in this useful article about filing digital clutter.

5. Focus on your work-life balance

2020 has been a challenging year. With working from home becoming the norm across the world, for many the line between work and home has been blurred. This is why it’s more important than ever to focus on a good balance.  

Here’s some things to think about to make sure your balance is a healthy one:

Don’t check emails after hours: Especially when working from home, it can be tricky to not have sneaky looks at your inbox. But resist the urge! Switch off from work in the evenings – there are plenty of binge-worthy TV shows on Netflix to distract you.

If you’re overloaded, try harnessing the power of no: Muster up the courage to decline that overtime or extra work. You may think it would put you in your boss’s good graces, but it’s not worth the inevitable burnout. And sleeping at your desk surely won’t impress your boss.   

Leave work at work: A good way to do this is writing a list of the things you need to do the following day so you’re not thinking about it into the evening. You can also tick off what you’ve completed that day – end the shift focusing on your positive achievements!