With 2016 (finally!) behind us, it’s time to start thinking about what we want out of 2017. While getting you to the gym may not be our advice wheelhouse, we can certainly help you move the needle on your professional goals. Whether you’re looking to change careers, grab that promotion, or find more joy in your current position, these simple habits will help you get there. Keep in mind, our greatest successes often begin with small changes practiced consistently over time.
Below are 15 simple habits that have had a positive impact in my career, and I hope will be helpful to you. Take a quick read through the list, choose and idea or two, and add them to your weekly routine. Try out the new habits for 30 days then jot down any benefits you received. I’m betting you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
1. Write unsolicited recommendations on LinkedIn
Free to give, this gift goes a long way toward reinforcing existing professional relationships. More on that here.
2. Join Toastmasters
This organization will help you become a confident, skilled presenter – and think more quickly on your feet. Investing in your presentation skills is always a good use of your time.
3. Volunteer for a local professional organization.
Giving your time in this way not only helps those around you, but also strengthens and expands your own skills.
4. Become a speaker.
Sign up to present on a topic on which you have expertise (this could be at school, church, work, the professional organization you immediately joined after reading the previous tip – anywhere, really).
5. Attend a new networking event.
Get out there and try a few new things this year. Meeting interesting people is a great way to do it.
6. Get training on something new.
Never stop expanding that skill set of yours. Need some ideas? We can help you with that.
7. Answer questions on Quora.
This is a good way to share knowledge and improve your writing skills.
8. Write an article (or three!) on LinkedIn.
Yet another way to get your knowledge out into the world (you may be noticing a theme here).
9. Host a dinner at your house with people you’d like to get to know better.
Develop deeper friendships with colleagues by literally breaking bread- and maybe even sharing a glass (or three) of wine - with them.
10. Introduce two professional contacts who would benefit from knowing one another.
People will love you forever for helping them meet new, cool people.
11. Read a book on building relationships.
The saying is true - it really does come down to who you who you know. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey MacKay, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, and The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine come highly recommended by yours truly.
12. Go to lunch with someone from another department.
You’ll learn some fascinating stuff – maybe even creative, unexpected ways to collaborate - when you reach out to people in different areas of your organization.
13. Read the business book that’s been on your list forever.
If you’re feeling especially inspired, you could even start a business book club.
14. Take the Strengths Finder 2.0 quiz.
The survey at the back of the book will not only uncover your unique strengths, but give you ideas for developing them.
15. Email or call people you haven’t talked to in awhile and ask how they’re doing.
A simple “How are you doing these days? What’s new?” will suffice. We tend to forget to reach out to the folks we already know. Our lives are always changing – checking in is a good way to remind people you care.
Happy 2017 to you all. May it be your most productive year yet!
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