The new year is a time to reflect on what’s going well and what you’d like to change. As we usher in 2021, your career may well be at the top of mind for you. 2020 brought so many challenges, probably in both your personal and professional life, and sometimes, it feels like we have no control.
But there are many ways you can take the lead on moving your career forward. Here are five career resolutions you can set and keep in 2021.
The pandemic has certainly changed conferences, but they haven’t gone away for good. Now, many organizations are moving their events online. There are plenty of virtual events that are looking for speakers in a wide array of niches. If you have something to say, why not put it out there? Don’t forget that speaking at events in your industry will also help you make a name for yourself and look great on your resume.
Assisting others in their careers doesn’t just feel good — it also allows you to build important skills that will further you in your own career and support your field. Already a leader? Start looking for others who show strong leadership potential and offer them mentorship to help them grow into the role.
You don’t have to be a manager to help others in their careers. For example, you could make sure people — and not just those under you — are getting credit for their ideas. You could also create inclusive spaces for people who have previously felt unheard to share their thoughts, such as an ERG at your organization.
Is there something that’s not working well at your organization? If you’ve noticed a hole, rather than spending time perseverating on it, why not try to fix it? Rather than going along with “the way we’ve always done things,” take real action and make change happen. It could be small or large. If you’re worried you won’t have enough influence based on your position at the company or other factors, get some colleagues on board. It’s much easier to implement change if you have others on your side.
Learning new skills is an important way to advance your career. Now that you’re largely at home, look into virtual courses offered by sites like Codeacademy, Coursera, Udemy and Skillshare. You’ll find a wide array of topics, such as programming, languages, design, business, art, writing, and film. You can even find free and low-cost courses.
Commit to reaching out to a certain number of people you admire within a specific timeframe. For example, you might send off two LinkedIn messages per month, commenting on someone's great article or asking for a piece of actionable advice. People love hearing that they’ve made an impact, so this will likely be welcome. But if you don’t hear back, don’t get discouraged. Just keep at it. Who knows? Someone could respond positively and influence your career.
The new year is a time to revitalize, refresh and renew. That goes for your career in addition to your personal life. With these resolutions, you’re ready to take charge of your career in 2021.