At Work

10 New Year resolutions to boost your career

It is that time of the year again! This is the time when hope, wishes, joy and warmth form in our hearts, when we look back and take stock of the year gone by and make plans ahead.

Like every year, we make resolutions to start the year on a positive note and to make progress. In this article I will cover how to make resolutions from a professional perspective and suggestions for resolutions.

How to make new year resolutions:

Take stock of the year that has gone by and look at the patterns.

To take stock, review your diary or calendar, also look at your mailbox, your connections on social media platforms, your status updates, also review any feedback you have received from your manager and colleagues.

Ask yourself:

1. What are you most important achievements?

2. What were the lows?

3. Who were the people that made you happy?

4. What are the best moments?

5. Which are your most valuable partnerships?

6. Who are the most important clients, stakeholders?

7. What did you set out to do but couldn't achieve?

8. What surprised you during the year?

Look for themes and messages that repeat and stand out. Are there any underlying highlights? This will give you sufficient food for thought to prioritise and decide your focus areas for the New Year.

Take your time to mull over these topics and finalise no more than three resolutions that you want to focus on. These could be areas that have you an upside and therefore you would like to continue to do more of. Or they could be areas you want to do less or stop doing.

Think about what are the enablers or forces that favour you, and disablers or forces that could hinder your progress.

Put in place not just resolutions or goals but also a "system" or tracking mechanism or an accountability system that will help you keep on stay on course.

Here are some important resolutions for professional or career successes that you could consider:

1. Develop your professional network

Networking is extremely important for success. Networks need to be real and not just people we are connected to on social platforms. Make an attempt to meet up, socialise, get to know face-to-face some of the important people in your network.

2. Learn a new skill

There are a plethora of courses available online that can help to progress your career. Take that step and choose one!

3. Find a mentor

Find a mentor in someone around you or long distance, and specifically ask for mentoring help, zeroing in on a development area.

4. Read a career development book

There are many great books out there - order one and finish it. Make notes, takeaway lessons and start applying.

5. Build a close relationship with your boss

One of the best ways to kick-start your career is to develop your relationship with your manager. Set up a meeting to clarify expectations, proactively seek feedback, compliment him/her and start the year off on a great note.

6. Build subject matter expertise

Choose an area in which you want to be recognised as an expert. Attend training courses, or deliver training, write papers, make presentations - make the small moves to be known as an expert.

7. Exercise

One of the best things to do for career growth is regular exercise. Exercise helps you stay positive, be stress-free, develop stamina and to work towards your success.

8. Manage time

Managing time is key to becoming productive and getting more done. The start of the year is a great time to identify your time and energy drains and to make a fresh start.

9. Write better emails

New Year is a good time to write more thoughtful and productive emails. To connect with people you normally don't and to resolve differences.

10. Beat procrastination

One of the more popular resolutions, beating procrastination, is key to getting long pending plans and projects under way. Guess what, New Year is the best time to finally make it happen!

Here’s to a great New Year and a fresh start to all!

Sharad Verma is the global head of human resources for a financial technology organisation based in India. With over 20 years of human resource experience, his expertise lies within talent retention and development specifically geared toward middle management, and he blogs regularly on these topics. To contact him, email


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