TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

3 Ways to Propel Your Career in 2017

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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A new year offers a yearly opportunity to get a new start personally and professionally. This can mean a big change or maybe a few little changes. Perhaps it means an enhanced outlook on the year, rather than changes. Either way, it’s the perfect time to evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go in the new year, both in your personal life and career. 

As we kick off 2017, think about the various ways you can refresh your career. Needing a little inspiration? Luckily for you, we’ve compiled three tips for propelling your career in 2017 (and beyond).

  1. DITCH THE YEARLONG RESOLUTION

New Year’s resolutions are rarely achieved. In fact, only 8 percent of people successfully achieve their resolution. So instead of setting yearlong goals, try setting monthly goals. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so setting smaller monthly goals can be much more effective than setting one grandiose year-long resolution. 

When deciding what goals to set, keep in mind the small changes that can bring added benefit to the months to come. For example, focusing on organization in January will help you adopt a better system of prioritization all year-round. Other short-term goals might include decreasing social media use during work breaks, using a planner to keep track of tasks and setting realistic deadlines (and more importantly, meeting those deadlines). 

  1. INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

At the start of the year, assess the areas of your career you feel you could grow in, and the areas that will bring the most positive impact to your day-to-day and future career growth. Most millennials, 87 percent to be exact, view professional development and career growth opportunities as an important part of their job. The value on professional development doesn’t just apply to millennials. 69 percent of non-millennials also agree that professional development is crucial for a successful career.

While you’re most likely already trained in your day-to-day work duties, high-level hard and soft skill training can be equally important. If your job doesn’t already provide professional development opportunities, do some research on available training programs and see what resonates. Professional development programs come in all forms, whether it be a seminar at your local community college or an online webinar.

For example, Toastmasters offers classes across the country to help develop speaking skills. By presenting these opportunities to your supervisor and making a sound argument as to how your professional development will benefit your department and company as a whole, you will demonstrate initiative and a future-focused mindset – and what employer doesn’t love that? 

  1. LEARN YOUR LIMITS

We all know how difficult it can be to achieve the elusive “work-life balance” everyone seems to be talking about nowadays. In fact, we recently shared a blog post where we boldly stated work-life integration is the new work-life balance. As we grow more connected and fast moving through the increased use of technology, it becomes even more difficult to learn when (and more importantly how) to say “no.”

Reviewing your job description is a great way to refresh your memory on your responsibilities in the workplace. Now, we aren’t saying that it isn’t important to be a helpful team player, but completing (and excelling at) your core job duties should be your biggest priority. Next time a coworker asks for assistance on a task, evaluate your to-do list and try not to say “yes” unless you truly have time in your day to dedicate to additional projects.

Strategically (and kindly) saying “no” can reduce stress and free up time later in the week to help assist with those miscellaneous tasks. Just be sure to give sound reasoning for saying “no” and whenever possible, offer to help at a different time.

By no means are the above tips the end-all to propelling your career, but rather a source of inspiration for those who want to focus more on growing professionally in 2017. As you think about the new year and all the possibilities a new year can bring, keep in mind the ways you can grow both professionally and personally. Whether you decide to make small monthly changes or give 2017 an overall focus, a little self-evaluation in January is a great way to prepare for the year ahead.

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