Welcome to the new year! If you’re like many other working professionals, one of your resolutions for 2016 is to start the year strong on the way to a better job, a killer bonus in 2017, a flawless performance review, or a quick promotion. Whatever your end goal may be, there are a few smart things you can do to kick 2016 off strong.
Check out these 10 tips for your career this year.
1. Run meetings like a pro
There’s no bigger frustration than an aimless and meandering work meeting. So take control and run the meeting like a pro. Make it useful, quick, and efficient by limiting cell phone use, sticking to a schedule, using an agenda, and picking a designated meeting QB. Then, when it’s done, send a quick summary to wrap up and recap.
2. Ditch the brown bag lunch
Wanna make friends on the job? Or maybe you don’t feel like you belong, and you want that to change. Whatever the case may be, ditching the brown bag lunch on a few occasions each week is a great way to bond with your teammates. Spend your lunch hour out with colleagues and you’ll reap the benefits of tighter work relationships, meal diversity, and even extra time to decompress outside the office.
3. Use apps to boost your productivity
Using a few modern workplace apps, you can easily eliminate a ton of red tape, automate menial tasks, and avoid silly mistakes on the job. Apps like Trello will let you manage your project effectively. Apps like Yesware will let you track who opens your emails, as well as create and save email templates. Check out this list of great apps to use when you want to boost your job output.
4. Prepare for unexpected job loss
When you prepare for the unexpected and unthinkable, you won’t get blindsided by it. Job loss happens to everyone at some point in their careers, and it’s important to be ready for it financially. Start saving money, get a pulse on your spending habits, research your potential unemployment and severance benefits, and most importantly, always keep an eye out for a potential new or better job, even if you love your current one.
5. Take your vacation, don’t worry about work
Stop tinkering with your phone, checking your work email, and responding to everyone and everything when you’re on vacation. It’s a bad way to get the rest you need so you can be productive when you come back to work. Vacations are meant to help you get rest, so take advantage of them and you’ll feel a marked increase in your output and job satisfaction.
6. Navigate office politics
Office politics is a reality of the working world. Not every employee will get along. How you respond to these office dynamics will dictate whether you’re stuck in petty arguments or whether you show leadership. So show respect, excel for your own benefit, don’t grandstand, and focus on your own accomplishments. Let the rest fall in place by itself.
7. Recover from blunders the smart way
We all make mistakes at work every once in a while. It’s not the mistake that defines us, however. Instead, it’s how we recover from it. By taking responsibility for your actions, moving quickly to correct your errors, and accepting feedback and criticism, you can put yourself in the right position to bounce back from a blunder.
8. Improve your work-life balance
A poor work-life balance will make you unhappy, unhealthy, and unproductive. Long hours, fatigue, and a bad mood can and will have a dramatic impact on your career. So learn to have an after-work off switch, refocus on friends and family, partake in your hobbies, and take every opportunity you get to rest and relax. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
9. Become indispensable
We’ve all met that one person in our office that is considered completely and utterly indispensable. They’re crazy hard workers and everyone knows that they can depend on them to get things done with speed, precision, and efficiency. You can become that person too, if you focus on a well-rounded skillset, expertise in a niche, and problem solving skills.
10. Think strategically to improve your output
A targeted, strategic approach to your project workload can lead to excellent results. By learning to properly prioritize tasks in a project, keeping a clear overview of your progress through long-term goals and checklists, and managing deadlines without distractions, you can create a smart strategy to tackle any tough project.
Keep up the great work, and remember to head back to JobHero whenever you need career advice or plan to kickstart a new job search.