QA | 11 January 2016
5 essential tips for making and keeping your career resolutions
Have you started to think about your career and how you can do better professionally? Maybe this will be the year you make a big career change, or perhaps you want to learn a new skill which could help you develop, get that promotion or give you a change of role.
But, as with all the best laid plans it is very easy to let your career resolutions slip once you get back into the day to day realities of work.
So here are a few essential tips for making and keeping your career resolutions and turning them into a reality.
Develop a plan
Think about what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there. Break your goal into smaller tasks with an estimated time of completion. Breaking goals into manageable tasks with a realistic time frame ensures you stay on track and increases the likelihood of you achieving them.
Give yourself time
Once you have decided on what you want to do and how you are going to achieve it, make sure you give yourself the time to do it. This is not going to happen overnight, so ensure you find time in your diary, not only to action all your tasks but also make time to regularly review your progress. This will give you the opportunity to assess where you are and whether or not you need to re-evaluate your approach.
Do your homework
Do you have the right skills for your next career move? Would a relevant training course give you the necessary skills to change your career path or allow you to be considered for the next promotion? Do your homework. Many careers or new jobs can sound exciting when you only know a little about them. Make sure you know what to expect, you are absolutely clear what skills you need to make a change and do what it takes to acquire. Research what the most in-demand skills are for your career path.
Make sure the right people know you want a promotion or a change in job
If you are looking for an internal promotion, don’t wait for your annual review to discuss your career goals. Make sure you discuss your career aspirations with your manager and have a clear understanding of what you need to do to be considered. If you are lacking specific skills, a relevant training course could be beneficial and ask your company if they are willing to pay for this. A mentor may also help. A strong relationship with someone higher up in your department can open doors for you.
Don't give up
If you find that a few months into the year you are not making progress, don't give up. Take a moment to understand what is not working, re-assess and develop a new strategy. Remind yourself of your goal and stay positive, patient and persistent.
So start the year as you mean to go on. Follow these tips and hopefully you will be able to turn your resolutions into a reality. And if you share your New Year's learning resolution with us, you could be in with a chance to win an iPad. All you have to do is tell us what learning promise you'd like to make for yourself in 2016.
If you are looking to update your skills, QA offer a wide range of training courses to help you develop professionally.
Find out more about QA's range of professional certifications.