3 Evergreen Career Resolutions to Keep
December 17, 2020
In a historical sense, New Year’s resolutions aren’t all that new, dating back at least 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. Historians believe the Babylonians were the first to set goals at the onset of a new year, something that many of us still practice today. People have been setting (and probably failing) yearly goals for thousands of years, so it’s clearly a practice that people consider valuable. Here’s why this is such a popular tradition, and why you may want to consider setting recurring resolutions.
There are many factors that might motivate a person to set resolutions, from personal to professional. Regardless of whether your goal is to run a marathon or run a company, the commonality between them is self-betterment, whether it’s in the form of pursuing personal happiness or developing new skills. Though it can be difficult to set a resolution and stick with it, they don’t have to be milestones. Having goals to return to every year (even if the specifics vary) can also help you grow year after year. Here are three worth revisiting.
1. Keep your resume and/or portfolio up to date.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re actively seeking new opportunities or if you’re content where you’re at, an up-to-date resume is a must-have. Keeping your resume updated is like a professional spring cleaning—your responsibilities may have changed during the course of your employment, and old items may no longer apply. Refreshing those skills, accolades, and responsibilities also helps you remember your accomplishments so you don’t have to scramble if you do decide to look elsewhere in the future.
2. Learn a new professional skill.
Technology is changing almost faster than you can read this sentence, and with it, the ways of the workplaces are also changing. It can be easy to settle in and stay within your comfort zone, but this can also lead to feeling a sense of monotony. One way to combat that is to learn a new professional skill. Choosing something related to your field—broadening your SEO skills as a writer, for example—can help you become a more well-rounded professional. Plus, those skills are sure to be valuable within the scope of your job.
3. Learn a skill that isn’t related to your job at all.
Focusing too much on work can lead to poor work-life balance, which can also contribute to exhaustion and burnout. Forcing yourself to try something new and unrelated to your job can therefore become a great outlet. And who knows—pursuing something you’ve never tried before may open new avenues and ideas. Steve Jobs gave a notable example in a Stanford commencement address. Jobs said he once learned calligraphy for fun, but the artistry of the skill later inspired the Mac’s groundbreaking typeface design.
Naturally, not everyone is Steve Jobs. However, learning in any capacity is an easily achievable goal that will provide returns year after year.