Rubbish at sticking to your resolutions?
OK, so you’ve decided 2017 is finally the year you stop putting it off, and start actually taking control of your life. But whether that means getting in shape, learning something new or finally finding a job that makes you love Mondays, by the time February rolls around your motivation isn’t always readily available (see also: #RIPGymMembership, #AuRevoirFrench, #Hashtag).
To help you stick it out and make this year more meaningful, here are five great ways to stick to your resolutions in 2017:
1. Actually set some objectives
First things first: you need to start setting targets.
After all, it’s all well and good saying you want to learn mandarin or run a marathon, but without clear ways to check your progress, you’re only likely to lose sight of what your end goal is.
The same goes for your career. Where do you want to go next? Is 2017 the year you ask for that promotion? Or is it time to start again and take on a whole new role, in new surroundings, in a different industry?
Wherever you’re headed, it’s important to consider all of your available options carefully. Once you’ve come up with a plan, set yourself some achievable, and easy-to-measure objectives to map out where you want your career to go in 2017.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. There are plenty of resources out there to help you decide what job to look for. Take your time and make sure it’s right for you.
Remember: To maintain your morale, keep them realistic.
2. Get the right support
Even with the greatest will in the world, making a big change can’t always be done alone.
It could be as simple as getting a friend to teach you something new, or using an online resource to help you study. It could just be having someone there to keep you motivated on your journey.
If it’s a new job you’re looking for, making sure your CV is up-to-date is absolutely vital. However, instead of going it alone, why not try a templates to help get you started?
Of course, to make the most of your applications, your CV needs to be tailored to every role you apply for. But sometimes just getting started is half the battle.
Once you’ve got yourself going, you’ll be able to add all the extra details that make your application stand out. It may be time-consuming, but if it helps you highlight your suitability and find the right role, it will be time well spent.
Remember: Your CV should sell your skills and experience. It should not put a recruiter to sleep.
3. Call in the professionals
OK, so you’ve got a good support network. The problem is, none of them actually know Kung Fu.
Before you start giving up on your dreams, getting professional help might be more readily available – and affordable – than you think. Which is good because, let’s face it, amateur Enter The Dragon will never end well.
Taking a course can also be a great way to kick-start your job search. Whether you’re more comfortable studying from home or you prefer a classroom setting, there’s a course out there for you.
From an industry-specific qualification to learning a second language or even just brushing up on your computer skills, having quantifiable and industry-recognised skills on your CV can set you apart from other candidates.
Translation? Time to finally stop making excuses.
Remember: It’s never too late to start learning (and various other clichés).
4. Get on top of your finances
Ah, January. The month overdrafts were made for.
Getting our post-festive-break finances in order is a pressing priority for most of us this day/month/year (delete as appropriate). You may even have included a pay rise on your list of New Year’s resolutions. But how do you go about asking for one?
Negotiating a pay rise can be a daunting task, but if you do your homework and approach the subject with the necessary tact, it needn’t be impossible.
Find out the average salary for your position and your location, think about what your recent achievements are, and whether you can justify to your employer why they should invest more of their budget in you.
And if it’s a new job you’re after, there’s nothing wrong with asking about salary at your interview. You know, as long as you don’t lead with it that is…
Remember: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
5. Dress for success
It’s a widely accepted fact that if you look good, you’ll feel good. And if you’re happier, you’ll be more productive.
The cheat’s way to do this is by dressing well. It may not sound obvious, but expressing yourself through your clothes can instil confidence in yourself and your work. It also gives you a good excuse to go shopping.
And if you’re interviewing for that brand new job, make sure you dress to impress. Making a good first impression is vital and the easiest way to do this is to look neat, tidy and presentable.
If all else fails? Never, ever take advice from your Nan. Just in case…
Remember: If you look good, you feel good. And feeling good is good (we’ll stop there…).
Honourable mentions: Work on your networking, prepare for common interview questions, improve your body language, smile.