8 things to set your career up for success next year | Main Region | UB

8 things to set your career up for success next year

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New year, new you? The start of a shiny new year is always a tempting time to make those resolutions, set your big goals and seek new opportunities in your work. But any of these decisions require forward thinking to position future you up for success.
Creating goals, setting deadlines and determining the action points needed to achieve them are key to helping you stay motivated, and working not just on your job, but on your career.

1. Reflect on your career

The end of the year is a good time to take a step back and reflect on your efforts throughout the year. What are you proud of achieving? Did you reach the goals you hoped you would? Is there something that you wish you could have done but were blocked from doing in some way? Spend some time thinking about the work you did that energised you as compared with work that may have been draining.

Our Career Check-In guide takes you through the steps to review you career goals, if they are still relevant to where you stand now in your career and what’s next depending on your own evaluation. To make it easier for yourself, once you have objectives in place, set reminders in your calendar to check back in on your career goals at least twice a year.

2. Keep an eye on the jobs of the future

The work we do is changing. New industries are emerging, and with them new job titles, newly needed skills and how technology can be deployed to help achieve outcomes. And businesses are responding with an increased trend towards skills-based hiring. So how do you keep on top of the trends in work when you’re busy just trying to get your work done? Automate that information being pushed to you. 
For example, if you have an interest in an emerging industry, let’s say sustainability, you can set up job alerts on our website by simply typing in the industry keyword, entering your email address and clicking ‘save as job alert’. By doing this, new jobs and roles in sustainability will be sent to your inbox so you can scan at your leisure and consider any new job titles or skills that you might require.
You can also use skills clusters as a way of identifying the skills you have and how they could lead you towards a new career path. For example, if you work in customer service, providing guest services is one of your skills, and a skills cluster for that role. From there, the specialist tasks are detailed which can then directly link to other occupations, such as a sales assistant or hotel service manager. Find yours and see where you end up. It could set your career up for a totally different trajectory next year.

3. Network

Networking continues to be a tried but true way to open the door the new opportunities. As the year comes to a close, there will be plenty of events and celebrations happening, offering a perfect opportunity to meet and network in a more relaxed environment.
To make sure you’re aware of the events that might be happening in the new year to keep building your professional network, sign up to professional industry body email lists. You’ll be notified of any upcoming events or webinars that you might be interested in attending. Try to search for an association that represents your industry online and find their networking events, webinar or conferences as well signing up to their emailing lists.
Networking doesn’t just have to be with people in the industry. Share widely with colleagues, friends and family what your goals for the ahead are – you never know who knows who, and you could just make an unexpected connection through a friend or acquaintance.

4. Develop your skills

The continued relevancy of our skills is becoming shorter and shorter as new technologies define how we do our work – and a break at the end of the year is often a great time to work on your skills portfolio.
As the potential of AI becomes more evident, many are predicting that the skills that are going to be more in demand are the ones that make us human1. Creative problem solving, adaptability, communication are all example of soft skills that will always in high demand, and will continue to increase with soft-skill intensive occupations expected to account for two-thirds of all jobs by 20302. Our Soft Skills Guide will guide you through what soft skills will help you stand out.
Make sure you’re putting yourself ahead in the year to come by blocking out time in your calendar each week to dedicate to learning, pick a range of skills that you’d like to be better at, and give yourself deadlines to finish courses. If you want to get better at using Excel, for example, block out some time and jump on Hays Learning to see the short courses available that can help you move towards becoming proficient in Excel.

5. Seek feedback

The end of the year is a good time to seek feedback from your manager. Ask them if they could share honest feedback on your performance through the year – and be ready to hear it, take notes and clarify anything that’s unclear. Often though its what you do with feedback that’s more important than just seeking it. If they mention any tasks you could be better at add these into your learning planner and practise the skills at work. After a couple of months, add in a follow up with your manager to evaluate if your efforts are making a difference.

6. Become an expert in new technology

Technology is a ubiquitous part of any working life, and it keeps changing at a faster and faster pace. To keep up, consider bettering your skills in any one technology platform. Not only will you gain the new skills, but you’ll be teaching yourself how to become a continuous learner.
For instance, you can set yourself the goal of becoming better at a new coding language. Pick a month and then set yourself short term goals, such as using that program in the next project you work on and learning one aspect of the language every week. You may even surprise yourself in how quickly you can become efficient at using new technologies as they are more and more intentionally designed to be intuitive and to have short learning curves.

7. Become a thought leader

Becoming a thought leader can put your name in front of highly influential people in your industry and cement yourself as a respected part of its community. It’s a great way of expanding your network and forming relationships that may be valuable to you down the line.
In your personal calendar, start setting aside some time at the end of every day, or week, to jot down any observations, ideas, trends or interesting facts that may have come up during your work. At the end of every month, review your notes and consider any reoccurring or adjacent themes that might make an interesting post that you could use on any of your professional social media accounts.

8. Take the time off and disconnect

Finally, it’s important to take a break, that’s what the holidays are for. If you’re feeling rundown from what has been a busy year, ensure you take the time that you need for yourself to get a well-earned rest. Step away from anything work related and disconnect, (the work emails can wait until next year) and once you’re feeling like yourself again, start to action some of these points to ensure you’re working on your career, not just your job, in the year ahead.

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