It’s never a bad time to look at new career opportunities that lie ahead for those who take the initiative. Whether you are looking for a promotion, a new role, or an entire new career path, here are 25 tips to help you achieve you career goals.

1. take time to reflect.

There is no better way to prepare for the year ahead then by taking stock of the year that has been. It will help you map out your career goals for the coming year.

2. write down your goals.

Sit down with a mentor or your boss and discuss your career goals for the year, and then write them down.  This will help keep your performance goals top of mind.

3. set small goals.

Identify the small milestones to achieving your big goals. This will give you more ‘wins’ and reasons to celebrate on the way to achieving your big goal. 

4. organise your work space.

A clean workspace sends the message that you are organised, confident and have everything under control.

5. take up a new course.

Enroll in a class or course that will give you skills and make your more marketable to new employers or get you noticed at your current job. This could include public speaking, learning a new language or upgrading your computer skills.

6. clean out your wardrobe.

It has been proven that what you wear to work can often impact your attitude at work. Take stock of your work wardrobe and get dressed for success.

7. find a coach or mentor.

Having a personal contact with someone whom you can share ideas and seek advice can be invaluable to your career. Often they’ll have the ability to see the bigger picture and offer an impartial opinion.

8. know the bigger picture.

Keep well informed on current affairs. Knowing about your company’s goals and overall strategy will pay off in conversations in the office. It makes you interested and informed, raising your profile in the mind of your colleagues.

9. go big on attitude.

Take on new roles and activities with enthusiasm and pride. Every challenge at work is an opportunity to show what you can do.

10. get out and about.

Build a broad network of contacts across your industry and the wider business environment.  The old cliché: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still holds true today.

11. manage your time.

Showing that you have good time management earns the confidence and trust among peers, and your boss. Keep an up-to-date diary of meetings and priorities, so you are clear on your daily focus.

12. ask questions.

An inquisitive mind shows interest, intellect and initiative. The smartest person in the room is not the person with all the right answers, it’s the person who asks all the right questions.

13. show confidence in everything you do.

Everything from your body language, posture and tone of your voice influences what people think of you.

14. take on a new hobby.

Try something new. It can also be a great conversation starter in the office!

15. go the extra mile.

Go above and beyond your job scope and surprise your boss and colleagues by helping out even when it is not expected of you. It shows your commitment.

16. stop a bad habit, start a good one.

Stop waiting to make a New Year resolution, make a lifestyle change. Choose to stop one bad habit and replace it with a good one.

17. speak up and listen to others.

Show your voice but know when to listen. Effective communication and presentation skills will help you build strong working relationships and listening will help you ask the right questions at the right time.

18. be a self starter.

Be prepared to work hard, exceed expectations and seize every opportunity. You will build a reputation for success and delivering results.

19. deliver on promises.

This will earn you the confidence of peers and bosses and ensure they support your advancement in your career.

20. benchmark yourself.

Evaluate yourself against others in the industry. Speak to an industry specialist such as a headhunter to gain industry comparisons and an impartial opinion on your personal development plans.

21. observe.

Observe those in more senior positions – there is a lot you can learn from observing others that are good at their jobs.

22. smile.

You can say more around the office with your body language than any word spoken.

23. take an interest in your peers.

Remembering a colleague’s birthday or anniversary shows you take a personal interest in your work colleagues and can go a long way in building trust in your team.

24. steer clear of office politics.

Know the inner workings of your office politics and do not partake. It’s important to know how to get things done, but taking part in gossip will get you nowhere.

25. relax and take care of your health.

While it is important to work hard, it is also important to get sufficient exercise and be able to relax. You will feel refreshed and more motivated at work.

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