I have carried a general, long-running ‘disdain’ for New Years resolutions – writing them off as products of nostalgic, emotionally charged, holiday-hooha bogus mentalities. However, this is the first new year I will be setting meaningful resolutions in response to the largely career-related changes and opportunities I’ve experienced in the past year. The following are resolutions I have already been getting into gear in the past year, and I suppose there is no harm in capping them off with a “New Years” titled garnish:
Context: I recently joined an IT consulting and staffing firm- had the fortune of landing into a great company ( www.compugain.com ) – in terms of revenue growth, work culture, and a pool of management figures that are hands-on without micromanaging and committed to developing employees. Case in point: A month and a half following my arrival, my direct boss called me into the office and discussed developing a career gameplan for me. Here, I’m going to pluck upon the probably overused, corporate-sy attribution as a “wearer of many hats” in my role. The beauty of that grey role is the bevy of careerpath options I am now weighing. My associated resolutions are as follows:
1. Become more technically savvy – not to a programmer, developer, analyst level but enough to possess a solid base conceptual understanding of technical process and tools frameworks. At the moment, this means finding mentor(s) within and outside of the company and devouring webinars and open-source web lectures.
2. Refine communication and networking skills. If you knew me, this may sound odd. Being a part-time “vet” in the event marketing industry, I have always been in the unofficial business of networking. I have spoken to hundreds of people in one night (albeit in passing) and am always connecting people with vendors and venues. Whether I’ve stepped out onto the outdoor patio of a lounge for a smoke break or am wielding clipboard and guest list in hand (which I like to call the nightlife’s “purse strings”), second-nature to me is the “what do you do” banter with strangers that are suddenly comrades via nature of physical proximity/recreational association, and the proverbial business card exchange on closing. However, at heart, I am an extroverted introvert. I can levitate between being charismatic in an almost childlike manner to being the aloof, cool-looking character with a smoke in hand and the unspoken promise of a mystery story vibed with a seething “This is my bubble, my space, and everyone else are mere background objects” threat. More often than not, I am the latter. I have only recently come to embrace and champion the importance of networking and relationship-building, the notion of us all as human capital and networking as the currency of the world, and the reality that, no matter who we are or what we do, we are always in the business of networking, connecting, and marketing ourselves. With this mentality and my new daytime job, what does this mean for my networking resolution? Expand network and do it meaningfully. Stay open but target particular networks. Take the initiative to– in my boss’s words– “break bread.” Follow through. Maintain those relationships for years. This resolution leads to Resolutions 3 and 4.
3. Be nicer. The simplicity of this resolution sounds almost idiotically dull, but this is a big one. I’ve scoured articles and picked salespeople’s brains, and the resounding message is that success comes with authenticity and generosity. Be nice. Think constantly of how to help others succeed. Learn to love others; this is actually not so easy for people- especially for me. In such ways, begin to build a basis for future value. I’m sure this one would also make me (and any other followers) a happier person.
4. Learn more about and apply knowledge of social media strategies, integration, tools, and best practices for personal marketing and company marketing.
5. Think and dream positively: Focus on what I want to happen and not what I don’t want to happen. They say perfectionists are slated for failure. Having battled with this lifelong complex, I can attest to its dimunitive effects.
Resolutions 3 and 5 will probably pose the greatest challenges for me.
What are your resolutions?