Here are 10 ways to start the year off right at work:
Review the past year. “Oftentimes we forget to recognize our own successes before moving on to the next big thing,” Sidana says. Think about what worked for you in 2013 and what did not, then start thinking about what you’d like to do differently in 2014.
Set goals for the new year. You might have thought about new goals at the end of 2013–but as you return to the office this year, really think about where you ultimately want to be in your career and set a plan that will get you there, Kahn says.
“These goals can be small or large, and should include whatever is most important to you, like getting a raise or promotion, taking on new tasks, learning new skills, becoming certified, or even finding a new job or making a career change,” says Sutton Fell. “With each of these, include the smaller steps that it will take to get you to these goals so you have a roadmap for how to achieve them.”
Try for unconventional benefits at work. As the economy improves, companies will be looking for ways to retain their top talent, so try asking for a benefit that you might not have considered before, like a flexible schedule or the option to telecommute, Sutton Fell says.
Reinforce your network. “Check in with your close clients and co-workers to let them know you’re back from vacation, and catch up on how they spent their holidays,” Kahn says. “If you missed the opportunity to send out holiday cards, consider sending out New Year’s greetings.”
Be crystal clear on your priorities. “This will help in decision making when conflicting demands are made of your time and energies,” Sidana says.
Learn to omit the negative and be positive. “Omitting the negative means learning from the inevitable negative experiences you will encounter without dwelling on them or letting them consume the valuable real estate in your head,” Brown says. “The air these days is full of negativity and pessimism, and others who have given up in the face of difficult times will do their best to drag you to their level. Remember, tough times do not last; tough people do.”
Jump back in. If you’re lucky, you were able to take a vacation and spend time with loved ones over the holidays. “Now it’s time to come back energized and focused,” Kahn says. “Use the first few days to follow up on all missed messages and start taking action on reaching your 2014 career goals.”
Do an audit of your current job. Sutton Fell suggests you ask yourself: What do I love about my job? What would I change if I could? What are my road bumps or bottlenecks? How can those be eliminated or improved? What are my goals for 2014?
Try to enhance your brand so that it stays fresh. “In this era of constant innovation and technological advancement, everyone is now on ‘Internet time,’ even when they are offline,” Brown says. “If your brand is on ‘analog time,’ it will be perceived as stale, and nobody likes stale. You can’t have payphone skills for a smart phone world.”
Create an e-mail folder to capture your accomplishments. Take the time now to create your own way to track your successes to make them easily at hand and top of mind, Kahn says. “This will make you prepared for any performance reviews and is a great way to reflect on your progress.”
“If you’re satisfied looking back at your career in 2013, you might enter 2014 on a good trajectory and be tempted to sit tight,” Sutton Fell says. “But whether you’re satisfied in your career or looking for something better, make the new year a year of action. You can build your relationship network, learn new skills or really master the ones you have, join professional associations, or find a mentor. Whatever it is, seize the day and it will set you up for more success now and in years ahead.”
Thanks to Forbes for this article.