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2019 Professional Resolutions

White clock surrounded by gold tinsel about to strike midnight

By Katherine Konrad, an experienced marketing professional and recent Celarity contractor 

As the close of 2018 approaches, many of us start to brainstorm resolutions for the New Year. Often, we resolve to eat better, to exercise, or, to read more. We’ve got our personal goals covered, but what about our professional life? Though it’s true that resolving to eat better “at work” technically counts as a professional resolution, here are more ideas that will inspire you to improve professionally in 2019.

Go to a networking event alone

Or, go to thirty-seven of them. But, at least one.

Two years ago, I asked a friend to go with me to a networking event that included a panel on SEO optimization. “Exciting stuff,” I thought. Though I love my sweet friend for coming with me, it was clear she didn’t feel the same. She spent her time during the panel scrolling on her phone, and I spent the rest of the night clinging to her side. And, I didn’t meet one new person.

The next year, I decided to try this again. Alone. On the way to trying to find the room (which was way too hard to find, by the way) I also found myself sparking conversations with people. At times I could feel my heart beating and hear my voice shaking, but I did it and I didn’t die. I ended up connecting with someone who had also come alone. I sent her a LinkedIn message asking her if she wanted to come to the next, upcoming networking event me.

She didn’t, but the point is that experience showed me I could, in fact, do things I didn’t think I could – which translates to other areas of my professional life as well.

Collaborate on a passion project

Some of us are lucky enough to spend our 9-5s at a job that fills our soul as well as our bank account. But, most of us are not. If you’re in the majority, spend some time on something you love.

I always knew I liked to write and to create things that (I thought) were funny. One year, I thought, “why can’t I send out a Christmas card like all my friends with children?” The answer was: there is no good answer. So, I waited in line at Macy’s to sit on Santa’s lap, and asked my friend to design a nice border and message. Then, I sent my Christmas card out to all my family and friends.

I added little projects like this to my online portfolio and, not only did I get a kick out of doing it, but my portfolio has landed me a couple of interviews.

No matter how small, side projects can be resume boosters that demonstrate to a prospective client or employer that you are creative, disciplined and ambitious.

Ask for a raise

Or ask for a promotion. Or ask for a check-in with your boss to give them an update on your accomplishments. Years can pass by quickly (Case in point: where did 2018 go?) and it’s easy to get caught up with your to-do list and forget about advocating for yourself. Check out my article on negotiation tactics to help get you started.

Get coffee with your CEO

It’s amazing how many doors will open if you just ask. Not only can you learn from someone with valuable experience, but the CEO will also be impressed by your initiative.

I’ve never gotten coffee with my CEO, (it’s on my list for 2019, ok?). But, I have walked into the lobby of a company I wanted to work for, resume in hand, and asked to speak to a hiring manager. The hiring manager wasn’t “available” (the receptionist totally screened me!). Two months later, I got an email from the hiring manager who was now very available and wanted me to come in for an interview.

Write an article and post on LinkedIn

If you just said to yourself: but I’m not a writer! Let me ask you a couple of questions: Did you send an email today? Did you communicate a thought with someone via text? Then you can surely be a writer. Researching and writing an article on a topic in your industry can teach you new information, keep you up to date on industry trends, and open your network a little wider via comments and discussion sparked.

Blond woman smiling at the camera - Katherine konrad.

Katherine is a marketing professional by day and a content creator by night. She enjoys summers in Minnesota, and anywhere else in the winter. When she’s not writing you can find her exploring new neighborhood hangouts; dressed up at a social event; jogging around Minneapolis lakes; or staring at her phone.

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