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What’s your new work year resolution?

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For many people, the start of a new year is a time to look ahead to new beginnings. We take time out to consider what we want to achieve, improve and learn to make the most of the year ahead. 
 
After a tumultuous two years, most people are certainly looking forward to a better 2022. COVID-19 thwarted career plans, saw priorities shift and prompted employees to consider what’s really important to them and their future. 
 
Fortunately, New Zealand’s job market remains dynamic and  skills are in demand, making it a perfect time to put your plans for the year ahead into action.

Set SMART new year work resolutions

Get your career back on track in 2022 by setting SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. 
 
Vague resolutions such as, “earn a promotion” or “make more money” are too ambiguous. In contrast, “Improve my communication and leadership skills and by December 2022 present evidence of my successes to prove I’m promotion-ready” is much clearer. Crucially, the latter can be broken down into achievable steps attached to a realistic timeframe.

New year resolution ideas

If you’re not sure what career-related resolutions to focus on this year, here are six concrete goals to consider to help start your new year at work right. With these new year resolutions for work, you can look forward to a successful 2022. 
 

Resolution #1: Find a new job

The most common new year resolution is to find a new job. Following two years of disruption, career stagnation and perhaps a touch of burnout, many people are looking ahead with renewed determination to start fresh in a new job.
 
If you want a new job in 2022 where you can succeed and thrive, put a plan in place. Think about what you want from your next job, update your CV and set up job alerts. By making this a new year’s resolution, you’ll take a brave step towards making the most of your career in 2022. 
 
You can also download our free My Career Goal Planner, which walks you through the process of setting SMART, achievable goals. 
 

Resolution #2: Learn a new skill

Identify one or two new skills that you can develop this year. Either focus on skills you need to improve or new skills that could be useful to your career longevity and success. Then take ownership of your development by deciding how you’ll upskill, such as working on a stretch project or attending regular webinars. 
 
To achieve this new year’s resolution, make sure you diarise regular learning opportunities and review progress at least twice during the year. Consider utilising Hays Learning, which provides access to hundreds of free courses. 
 

Resolution #3: Improve your mental health and wellbeing

After a challenging two years, you may benefit from improving your mental health and wellbeing. Many of us are burnt out. Now is the ideal time to look after you. 
 
New year’s resolutions often focus on improving our physical health, such as how to get fitter or eat healthier. But setting resolutions aimed at supporting your mental health is just as important. So, create SMART goals to reduce stress and improve your mental health. To help you get started, here are our tips on how to take care of your mental health and wellbeing at work.
 

Resolution #4: Trial various approaches to work-life balance

Striking the right balance between work and personal life isn’t easy and everyone’s idea of the perfect work-life balance is different. If you want to improve your balance this year, trialling different approaches makes for a good new year’s resolution as it allows you to identify the method that works best for you – and your employer. 
 
For example, one month you could start and finish work an hour earlier to take your children to the park after school, while the next you could turn your work phone off at 7pm every night to spend time doing something you enjoy. By experimenting in this way, as the year progresses your ideal solution to improving your work-life balance will become clear. 
 

Resolution #5: Improve your time management

Many of us start each new year by resolving to manage our time more effectively. But a full inbox and long to-do list soon take over and we end up struggling to complete our most important tasks. 
 
The good news is that effective time management is not hard and can be broken into three main goals: prioritisation of your urgent and important tasks, time-blocking and committing to your plan. To help you set – and keep – this new year’s resolution, we’ve produced these time management tips.
 

Resolution #6: Find a mentor

A good mentor can make your career. Not only can they encourage you and open doors, but they’ll help you navigate the world of work, offer career advice and help bridge any skill or knowledge gaps. With a trusted mentor, you can talk through any challenges you're facing in your current job, from improving your personal brand to succeeding at networking events. So, if you don’t already have a mentor, finding one is a great new year’s resolution. 
 
Start by identifying what it is that you need help with, then look within your network for someone who is an expert in this area who you admire. Make sure you approach them in an authentic way and, if they agree to mentor you, nurture the relationship. To get you started, here’s our advice on how to be a successful mentee

What is your new year resolution? 

Now you’ve read our new year’s resolution ideas, it’s time to think about your own work resolutions. Then, one you put pen to paper, your next priority is to act.
 
After all, grand plans sound impressive, but the reality is that you need to break your new year’s resolutions into smaller achievable weekly goals if you are to achieve them.
 
For example, take a few moments every Monday morning to determine one small and achievable task related to a resolution. Then time-block enough minutes or hours in your calendar to achieve it. 
 
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet a weekly target. Priorities change and sometimes you’ll experience a week when meeting a goal isn’t possible. Luckily, every Monday provides a clean slate to start working towards achieving your resolutions again. 
 
Good luck. 

 


About this author

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director, began working at Hays in 1993 and since then he has held a variety of consulting and management roles across the business. In 2004 he was appointed to the Hays Board of Directors. He was made Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand in 2012.

Prior to joining Hays, he had a background in human resource management and marketing, and has formal qualifications in Psychology.

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