New Year’s resolutions that will also advance your career plan

Five simple and attainable goals that can be fun and productive
An overhead view of a weekly planner with a pencil next to it.
Tara Winstead, Pexels

Did you know the majority of people give up on their resolutions within the first 30 days of the year? This might be because their resolutions are too broad, unrealistic or unclear in their objectives.

If you’re hoping to make this year the year you move forward in your career plan, we’ve created a list of achievable and realistic resolutions that you can commit to.

Design a career plan for the year

Think about where you want to be in one year. You don't need to have a concrete end plan — plans always change — but have a rough idea in mind. Then, set smaller milestones that you can complete in weeks and months rather than a full year: What can you do within a week, a month or six months?

Maybe you want a new job. Lay out small steps that can get you there. If you need more education, look into a course that will boost you professionally. If you need more work experience, try applying for a micro-placement or exploring a co-op/internship program.

You don’t have to create your plan alone. Book an appointment with a career development specialist on Elevate to get practical advice and learn all the different ways you can explore your career.

Update your job search documents and profiles

Remember to update your resumes with any new education or work and volunteer experience from the last year. This will help you stay ready to apply to any jobs that you come across.

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool in the job search, so make sure you update your profile too. Networking and industry connections can also open many doors for you, so be sure to add any new coworkers, teachers and even friends that are on LinkedIn.

Try something new  

Challenge yourself with a new experience this year! Doing something unfamiliar (and maybe a little uncomfortable) can help you gain new skills, build resiliency and introduce you to friends or industry connections. Plus, you might even get an interesting anecdote or situational example you can bring up in a job interview!

You can apply for a micro-placement for short-term work experience, find a leadership development opportunity with Leadership and Student Engagement, volunteer with the Student’s Union, or join a club or students’ association.

Learn a tech skill

Tech skills are easily transferrable and can make you more flexible in your career development. Start off with the simple programs, such as Microsoft Word or Excel. Typing up an essay is one thing, but learning advanced formatting skills can help you be more efficient in the future! And while you might use Excel as a basic spreadsheet now, plenty of industries use Excel or similar programs in more advanced capacities — get ahead by understanding the fundamentals of formulas, pivot tables and more.

Interested in a different kind of tech skill? You can find many free courses related to digital design, web design, coding and much more online. Pro tip: A free public library card gets you premium access to LinkedIn Learning’s online courses!

Consume media that will drive your career forward

Give your tried-and-true Netflix picks a break! Push yourself to watch a movie, listen to a podcast or read a book (or books) that’s educational or focused on a skill or personal interest that can move your career forward.

Want advice for negotiating your salary? Book an appointment with a career development specialist on Elevate to discuss how you can be strategic in your interviews and negotiations. You can also visit Career Services' website to find more career development resources.