What are your work resolutions for 2014?
For just a moment, mentally fast-forward ahead 12 months and imagine that it's now the end of 2014. As you look back on the year, what do you hope will have happened at work? Here are some outcomes that might be pictured by three of my coaching clients ...
- "Marcy" hopes to have the same job at the end of 2014 that she had at the beginning. After working for four different companies in three years, she is tired of changing jobs and would like more stability. But because all these moves were voluntary, she needs to figure out why she becomes dissatisfied so quickly.
- "Kevin" wants colleagues to appreciate his ideas by the end of 2014. After recently starting a new job, he unwittingly offended key people by immediately pointing out problems with certain programs and practices. He now realizes that his suggestions are more likely to be accepted if he builds relationships first.
- "Rebecca" is hoping for a promotion during 2014. This is nothing new, however, since she has been trying to get promoted for three years. About six months ago, she finally realized that the daily arguments with her boss were not helping, so she is now trying to "manage up" more effectively.
To identify your own 2014 work resolutions, closely examine your ideal end-of-year scenario. List what you hope will happen, then identify specific action steps that can move you in the desired direction.
Here's a list of twenty possible career resolutions to get your thinking started. Pick those which apply to you or create your own, but don't overdo it. Making too many resolutions is the quickest way to insure that they will fail.
Sample work resolutions
This year I resolve to ...
1. Schedule a regular time to talk with my manager about my work and ask for feedback.
2. Tell my boss what I appreciate about his or her management style (even if I find some things frustrating).
3. Have a clear understanding of my manager's goals and priorities.
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4. Let go of petty grievances and irritations with colleagues. Recognize that I may also annoy them.
5. Try to understand the other point of view when I have disagreements with co-workers.
6. Initiate a problem-solving discussion instead of stewing in silence when I am upset.
7. Control my temper (especially if I am a manager).
8. Stop spreading hurtful gossip or talking about people behind their backs.
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9.Learn more about other departments in my organization. Understand how my work affects them.
10. Help others understand how my department adds value to the organization.
11. Stop complaining about being underpaid and do the research required to justify asking for a raise.
12. Start developing the skills I need for my next career move.
13. Join the professional association related to my field in order to expand my knowledge and contacts.
14. Take the first step towards completing a degree or professional certification.
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15. Have a discussion with my boss about my career goals.
16. Master new technologies related to my work.
17. Start contributing to my 401(k) (or other retirement plan) to help insure my future.
18. Stop griping about how much I hate my job and create a plan for career change.
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19. Research resume-preparation techniques and rewrite my resume.
20.Find books or online resources to help develop my job-search skills.
Once you've chosen a few resolutions to focus on, create a calendar reminder to help assess your progress. On the same day each month, when that reminder pops up, do a quick self-appraisal and renew your resolve.
To further strengthen your motivation, consider using a buddy system. Research has found that personal changes are most likely to succeed when people publicly declare their intentions to others.
Of course, the true test comes at the end of 2014, since that's when you'll know whether the scenario you imagined 12 months earlier has actually become reality.
— By Marie McIntyre