The words “new year” are synonymous with “resolutions” for most people. Even though you might not come out and verbally declare anything that you will regret committing to later (next week), you have probably thought through some of the popular resolutions as 2013 commenced. Exercise more, eat less, save money, volunteer, etc. But every year the majority of people quickly lose their willpower to accomplish what they’ve set out to do.
This year, as you leave 2012 behind and look ahead to 2013, why not try some work-related resolutions instead. You might feel more motivated because in following through, you could achieve some personal goals as a reward – a salary increase, spot bonus, a promotion with more exciting projects or simply more time with off with your family. To make this happen, set out to resolve to make positive changes at work. Some examples are:
Clean your desk/work area – You may know where everything is under the stacks of paper on your desk but an unkempt desk might project disorganization or an inability to manage your work effectively.
Speak up – Request a project you might not normally be assigned to or ask if you can shadow someone in another department to learn more about how your jobs overlap. Be proactive in finding new ways to learn and grow; don’t wait for someone else to suggest it.
Find a mentor – Having someone you can go to for career advice and coaching is a great way to grow personally and professionally. This person could be your manager, a co-worker, a friend in a similar industry, etc. Most people are flattered to be asked and find the experience helpful to them as well. Conversely, look for opportunities to mentor someone else.
Be respectful – It’s obvious advice to “treat others as you’d like to be treated” but so often people are focused on others that they don’t notice how their workplace behaviors affect those around them. Do you do all of the talking in meetings? Do people seem to avoid conversations with you? Does everyone else seem to be the ones with the problem? Be cognizant of your attitude and how people react to you. Welcome constructive criticism and reflect on it before assuming the other person must be wrong.
There are many positive changes you can make at work to improve your brand, think of what you can do in your situation and what the payoffs might be. Then tell someone about it (your new mentor?) which will increase your chances of sticking to it.