New Year’s Career Resolutions

Promise yourself you’ll stick with them!


Editor’s note: We wish you a warm, festive and restful holiday season. To send off 2013, we’re leaving you with Teresa’s thoughts, which will likely inspire and motivate you. See you in the New Year!

You may have given up on resolutions.  The ones you just never keep: get back to the health club, exercise more, lose the final 10 pounds, and finally start meditating!

If, instead, you focus on setting clear intentions that will support your career development and your brand, this coming year could be even more significant and fulfilling than any you’ve ever had.

Take a break during the holiday festivities, find a quiet corner, ask yourself a few key questions and then outline your career intentions for 2014!  Here are some questions to get started:

1. How have your career priorities changed this year?

    • How has your vision expanded or shifted?
    • Have you done enough informational interviews to get real clarity about your next steps?
    • What new skills and abilities have you added that could increase the possibilities for your career future?
    • What changes have occurred in your personal life which may require you to change your focus, at least for a while

2. What aspects of your work were energizing and stimulating?  Identify them. How can you create more opportunities for that kind of work?

3. What aspects of your work drained you?  Can you delegate them to others and/or minimize the work that sapped your energy?

4. What big bets is your organization taking? Are there new directions coming that could shift your career focus?

5. What do you want to continue doing? Start doing?

Then, create a plan for the New Year:  specific development areas, activities, a timeline, milestones and a reward system for achieving your intentions!

And, maybe, set  just a few resolutions.  Here are some of mine:

1. Be present. In meetings: laptop down, no texting, be attentive. When on the phone: laptop down, unless needed for the call; turn on Do Not Disturb.  Be present.

2. Be grateful. Thank everyone who helped you achieve your success in the past year.  Who made your life at work a bit easier or more meaningful?  Who connected you with a key contributor, mentor or sponsor?  Who suggested an idea or book that made a difference? Consider written thank-you notes – how rare they are these days!

3. Be optimistic. Focus on the exciting possibilities of the coming year, the opportunity for transformation.  Don’t ignore the speed bumps or obstacles, but focus on the prize!

4. Be collaborative.  Respond generously to colleagues’ requests for help.  Look for opportunities to contribute and raise capabilities!

5. Be healthy. Make self-care a priority.  Eat well, get your rest and exercise. Make time for your family and friends, especially those who lift your spirits. Take your vacations. Play more and laugh!

Happy New Year!


All of us at JobsBlog wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season. And when you’re ready to fire up your job search, whether you’re a seasoned professional or graduating in 2014, get your fresh start at Microsoft Careers.

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