It’s that time of year again!

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Naturally, people’s thoughts turn to New Year’s resolutions, self improvement and how they plan to do things differently in 2018, usually on a personal level. As someone who focuses on helping people maximize their career potential it won’t surprise you that I am a huge advocate for making career resolutions as well. After all, most of us spend more time at work than we do at home yet, we don’t typically spend much time thinking about our long-term career goals unless we are forced to sometimes because an opportunity is presented and sometimes because your job is eliminated.

Because things happen at work that are often times, completely out of our control it is vitally important to keep your skills current. Thankfully, you will find a plethora of advice out there to assist you. From top ten lists to various top tips for how you can be successful with your resolutions, there is a lot of sound advice out there. Some of my key tips include keeping a running list of your accomplishments throughout the year. From this list you will pick out high-impact items you would like to include on your resume.

You also need to periodically review, tweak and update your LinkedIn profile. I also recommend you review job postings for roles you think you would be interested in, even if you are not currently looking, to see what skills and experience a company is looking for so you know what you need to work on to get where you want to be. It’s easy to put your head down and just focus on your current role but, your failure to stay connected and aware of trends in the industry will likely have a negative impact on your employment status and your ability to land that next role when you do want or need to make a change.

Therefore, resolve to take action this coming year and actually heed this tried and true advice. However, underpinning the likelihood of success of any strategy, tip or idea you choose to adopt are two key career resolutions. Use these in anything you do and your chances of being successful will be greatly increased.
Planning and goal setting

All resolutions you make are goals that you have set yourself. For the best chance of success, however, you need to consider not just the end result of where you will get to, but also the steps you need to take to get there.

The acronym SMART (Specific/Measurable/Attainable/Relevant/Time specific) is hardly a revolutionary, groundbreaking approach – but it’s one that works. As a guide to get you started setting specific and achievable goals, SMART is hard to beat.


And as one of America’s Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, famously said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Again, like SMART, you’ll have heard it before. But you will hear it again in the future because if you follow the advice, it brings success. The best way to plan your resolutions is to take the SMART approach.

There are a wealth of online tools, apps, and even old-school paper planners, for those that prefer to work with hard copies, to help with goal setting and keeping you on track to achieve them.

Be positive

Just as it would be foolish to underestimate the importance of planning when it comes to getting your career resolutions on track, it’s hard to put a true value on positivity. Having a positive attitude in the workplace can only be a good thing. If you are considering looking for a new position elsewhere, it’s important to do so with a clear and focused mind. Having a negative attitude only muddles things.

A positive attitude also means being open to new opportunities. Each day is a chance to achieve, every phone call, every networking meeting, and so on. Combine this positive attitude with a commitment to continue to develop marketable skills and a healthy enthusuiasm for learning and your career resolutions for 2018 will be destined for success.