Seven New Year’s career resolutions

2015 is finally here, so it’s time for some New Year’s career resolutions.  Iona Bain, financial journalist and blogger, offers seven top workplace tips

1. Review your social media strategy. 
Are you using Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin as effectively as you could for your career? Perhaps you should separate which media you use for work and private chat. Many offices have internal systems which allow you to send quick messages to colleagues – resist where possible, as it will make it hard to concentrate on your work. The number one rule I follow for any postings or tweets, public and personal, is: "Would I feel okay if this was plastered across the front page of a newspaper tomorrow?" If not, keep it to yourself. 

2. Think about your internet habits.
Do you spend too much work time mindlessly browsing websites, looking at pictures of breakdancing cats?  Try to discipline yourself to kill some of those favourites and replace them with career-useful research and investigation.

3. Avoid office politics.
Do you get drawn into criticising colleagues, attacking bosses, griping about work conditions, and gossiping about personal lives?  That’s not a recipe for being happy in the workplace. Keep a distance if it starts, and try to be constructive.

4. Value what you do.
Do you beat yourself up when things go wrong?  Know your strengths and what you can contribute, even when the going is tough, and always be ready to give yourself a pat on the back.

5. Mind the gap.
Are you under pressure to go out and socialise with work colleagues, perhaps regularly in the pub?  Remember it’s not the same as going out with your mates, and you might regret letting down your guard.  Dr Steve Peters, author of the Chimp Paradox, reminds us all to be "personable" rather than "personal" in the workplace.

6. Be fair to your employer – and yourself.
Are you curious about future opportunities? You want to give your employer full value, but that shouldn’t stop you investigating what else is out there whenever you can.  Make the most of your contacts and assignments to learn about other employers, other roles, other corners of the industry.

7. Take ethics seriously
Do you believe your profession has ethics?  The future health of the financial services industry depends on young members buying into a commitment to ethics and integrity.  Behaving ethically can also benefit you personally. Holding a reputation as someone who will do the right thing enhances you in the eyes of colleagues and clients.
Iona Bain is a Financial Journalist and blogger. Her blog offers personal finance advice and education to young people. Iona also hosts a weekly program on Share Radio called Young Money & Young Rights.
Published: 13 Jan 2015
  • Career Development
  • The Review
  • Insight
  • career

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