Most people’s new year resolutions are dead in the water by the end of January, but the turning of the year is a good marker for making change if that’s what’s needed.
Here are three simple, achievable career tweaks that will make an impact to your profile and performance.
Schedule More 1-1’s With Your Manager
Nothing beats human interaction when it comes to communication, and a 1-1 with purpose and impact is by far the most effective way of showing your manager all that great work you’ve been doing.
“Standing back and waiting for praise and reward is a poor strategy for personal and professional growth. You have to TRY (take responsibility yourself)”, says strategic referrals consultant Lisa Strutt.
If you can arrange to have regular 1-1s with your boss to deliver a business status update you will have the opportunity to champion your teams efforts and your own role in leading the team.
Don’t discount anybody in your network as you never know who will inspire you to make the next move.
Find A Mentor
There are innumerable benefits to having a good mentor. Not only do you receive guidance, advice and support, you are also opening yourself up to that person’s network of contacts – invaluable if you are starting out, branching out, or progressing upwards.
But who to pick? As career coach Anna Healy points out, mentoring is a two way street.
“Finding the right person is like finding a friend, it is about chemistry and mutual respect and appreciation. You will gravitate towards some people more than others. Don’t discount anybody in your network as you never know who will inspire you to make the next move.”
Once you’ve found someone it’s up to you both to road test the relationship and evaluate if it’s worth the investment. Here are 25 questions to help get the conversation going.
On average, our brains are only able to focus for 90 minutes and need at least 20 minutes rest thereafter
Stop Skipping Lunch
On average, our brains are only able to focus for 90 minutes and need at least 20 minutes rest thereafter. Taking breaks throughout the day can help you to refresh your mind and reset your attention span.
As the story goes, a woodcutters saw gets more blunt as time passes but he continues cutting down trees. If the woodcutter were to stop sawing, sharpen his saw and go back to cutting the tree with a sharp blade, he’d actually save time and effort in the long run.
The lesson being – stop, refresh, recharge.
If meetings or a busy spell takes over – don’t stress, try instead to use your water breaks to incorporate movement into your day.
Split your lunch break into 2 x 20 or 30 minute blocks depending on how long you have, says Sarah Moloney, Personal Trainer with the Irish Strength Institute.
Spend block A having a healthy, nutritious lunch with a palm sized portion of protein, a tbsp of healthy fats and a couple of handfuls of carbohydrate in the form of leafy greens and mixed vegetables.
Spend block B going for a brisk walk, preferably outside weather permitting, or around your building if it’s too bad out. Incorporate some stretches while at your desk to relieve neck tension and speak to your boss about perhaps getting a standing desk.
If meetings or a busy spell takes over and that’s just not possible – don’t stress, try instead to use your water breaks to incorporate movement into your day. Get up from the desk and go up the stairs to the next floor to have a glass of water every 40 -60 minutes.
Here’s to trying new things in 2019 (and not beating ourselves up if we don’t quite get there).