Summer is finally here! Every office is buzzing with holiday schedules, company BBQ’s and holiday plans.
But remember January? More specifically 01/01/2022? Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?
Maybe you wanted to start a fitness routine, drink more water, be better at laundry (finally find the perfect match for all those lonely single socks), etc.
Regardless of whatever resolution you made did you think about your work?
I’m not talking about the goals/actions you and your manager discuss during your yearly evaluation. I’m talking about goals YOU can set for yourself. Skills and knowledge which might not be directly related to your daily workload but will help you to grow professionally, nonetheless. It doesn’t matter when you start them, just do it.
1. Do five things to stay healthier at work
Whether you work from home or got to return to the office we spend a lot of time “at work”.
Health is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, so it only makes sense to take this one with you to the office. Try to think of just five things to help you stay healthy.
Pack a sensible lunch. Take the stairs. Get up and stretch every hour. Test out a standing desk (if you can). Switch your office chair for an exercise ball.
Yes, these are small things, but they end up.
2. Read one career-related or motivational book
“And to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.” Well said Jane Austen, I could not have put it better.
No matter what your job is there is always a book out there that will be interesting, help you improve your performance or change your outlook on life (both professional and personal).
3. Update your resume
Be honest when is the last time you gave your resume a thorough look-through? Is the information still valid? Is it current?
Whether you plan to apply for a new job or not update your resume periodically. This way you will not lose track of the necessary information, but you will also be prepared should you need it urgently.
4. Clean up your professional network
We meet new people all the time and unfortunately time can be fleeting.
Sit down and have a look at your professional connections. Are they sill relevant? There is no need to go all Marie Kondo on your contact list. Simply take a moment and think about why you keep certain contacts.
That said there is no downside to increasing the size of your professional network. When you meet someone interesting connect and watch that network blossom.
Which brings us to:
5. Review and improve your LinkedIn profile
Yes, Instagram and TikTok are the relevant social media networks of the day. But going viral with a crazy dance is not really going to help you survive the corporate jungle.
In the professional world, LinkedIn is crucial. Just like your resume, you need to keep the information, tone, and look of it up to date
6. Clean out your physical and digital file cabinets
Occasionally, you just NEED to clean out that closet, both at home and at work.
How many of us have filing cabinets that house more dust bunnies then relevant content? Weed through them, recycle, delete when necessary. Apply this to your electronic files too. IT will thank you.
7. Sign up to follow one relevant blog
There is a whole wide world of information just within reach. Find a blog you can enjoy, whether it provides insider tips or motivational content. Read, sign up, follow. It does not have to be relevant to your industry, it needs to be relevant to you. If you are an IMA member, check out the home page to get started!
8. Get a new professional headshot
Unless your company provides this opportunity this one might not be cheap. But it does not need to be expensive.
Like your resume and your LinkedIn profile Up to Date is key here. Paying for a professional picture will give you a high-quality photo that represents who you are, both professionally and personally.
Maybe get a few extra pictures to use on your next Christmas card?
Yes, you can adopt a Koala, subscribe to the WWF or other charities. But – and I speak from my own experience - volunteering is still the best way to feel like you really made a difference. I spend a day painting and repairing an old building for a charity that works with homeless people. It was real. It was personal. It mattered.
Find a cause that speaks to you and see how you can contribute.
In fact, I dare you to raise the stakes! Talk to your co-workers and see who might volunteer with you. Go to HR. Convince them to make it an event.
Donating to a good cause is great, but sanding a door together builds a connection.
10. Attend at least one professional networking event
Do you want me to list the benefits alphabetically or in order of importance?
Networking events are an opportunity to meet other professionals in your field, make new connections and build a network. You can meet like-minded people, exchange experiences, learn from each other. And who knows… you might just might your best friend or the love of your life.
So, what do you think? What will you do to rock this year?