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6 realistic New Year’s resolutions that can boost your career prospects


It’s that time of year again - when the dreaded question on everyone’s mind: ‘What’s your New Year’s resolution?’ propels you to make far-reaching goals for the next 12 months.

While it may seem unlikely you will remember to visit the gym 6x a week, or become fluent in Mandarin before year’s end, there are some resolutions that are seriously worth considering if you’re thinking of elevating your career prospects in 2016.

Take a look at 6 realistic goals you can set for yourself this year that can provide you with immediate benefits and motivate you straight to the finish line.

1.       Keep your CV perfectly polished

Considering this document is your passport to employment, you want to make sure yours is 100% free of any spelling or formatting errors, as one small oversight can cost you a great opportunity. Make sure you have someone proofread it as well – a second or even third pair of eyes can often catch things you missed. Remember that keeping an updated CV on file that’s ready to go requires persistent revisiting and maintenance. For some useful tips, check out our guide to creating a mistake-free CV.

2.       Turn your next job interview into a lucrative offer

Try to build a good rapport with your potential employer each time you communicate – this will go a long way. Also, many people believe that the job interview is the last step in the application process – and this couldn’t be further from the truth. A small gesture that can carry you far ahead of the competition is to write a ‘thank you’ letter. And, you shouldn’t underestimate the power you have with this follow-up – you want to use this opportunity to outline your strengths, skills, and candidacy as well as addressing any points you forgot to make during the sit-down.

3.       Build a job search database

You may be happily employed – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a comprehensive job search database on file. The truth of the matter is, job security is rarely guaranteed in today’s evolving market landscape. So, it can save you weeks, and even months of time when you find yourself in need of embarking on what would otherwise be a stressful job hunt. One simple way to do this is to follow organisations and people that are relevant in your industry so you can be alerted when there are new job postings.

4.       Master the art of self-promotion

This can be tricky, as you don’t want to come off as conceited. However, learning how to effectively promote yourself at work will bring you great rewards. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to broadcast what you’ve achieved. Instead, focus on how your achievements have increased business performance. This information, which might be best presented in numbers, will highlight your value to your employer – and thus put you on the fast-track to a pay-rise.

5.       Locate sources of side income revenue

This falls in line with point 3 – taking on side jobs will not only will supplement your income, but partially insure you in the event you do find yourself unemployed. Professional blogging, consultancy, and bookkeeping are examples of freelance work that can even be performed straight from home – saving you the added time and stress of commuting. Plus, experimenting with other job profiles might help you discover a new passion that you can turn into a blossoming career.

6.       Build an online professional profile

If you haven’t done this already – this should be your first priority if you’re seriously looking to expand your network. There are thousands of job opportunities available to online job hunters, and it’s a shame to miss out on them simply because you haven’t taken the time to create a strong online profile. Sites like LinkedIn are a great place to start – and through joining discussion groups and following industry leaders, you’ll open new doors of opportunity that may just one day land you your dream job.

So, this year, why not make it your goal to advance your career by following one (or all!) of the above tips for moving ahead in 2016?