Make 2015 your most successful year ever.
Whether you just got a new job or you've been working somewhere for years and years, one thing is for sure: there are a few things that you should be changing. Even the best and most dedicated workers have things that they can improve upon (even when they don't want to admit it). And since a new year is all about reinventing yourself and becoming the best you can be, this is the perfect time to make some changes.
Instead of making your New Year's resolution something boring and cliche (example: I will go to the gym every day! I will eat healthier! I will stop hitting the snooze button!), make your resolutions about your career.
After all, if you're happy where you work and you're also successful, you're definitely living life the right way. Make 2015 the year you focus on becoming the smartest career woman out there. And hey, you can always make those other cliche resolutions too. Here are 10 new year's resolutions every smart woman needs to make to get you started.
1. Stop talking about your co-workers to other co-workers.
An office may be full of functioning adults, but after a while, you'll realize that the atmosphere still mimics that of a high school most of the time. This means that just like you'll be making precious office friendships, you'll also be making enemies. But be careful who you confide in when you're annoyed about something a co-worker is doing—you never know who could over-hear or who might open their mouths. We've all indulged in a little inter-office gossip, but complaining about one person to someone else you work with is never a good idea. It's too risky! If you really need to vent about the worst co-worker ever who happens to sit right next to you, go home and do it with your significant other, best friend, mom… whatever. Just make this the year you resolve to stop gossiping like a teenager.
2. Start being nice to everyone in your field.
Speaking of making resolutions about gossiping... you should also make one about playing nice at work. It doesn't matter if you're naturally shy or introverted, or if you just dislike everyone in your field—you should resolve to make this the year that you start making as many connections as possible. You never know who will be above you one day, or who will be responsible for making decisions about your livelihood, so you may as well play it safe. I don’t care how annoying, frustrating or nasty the person is—resolve to put on a smile and be at least polite to everyone you're networking with.
3. Get as organized as possible and clean your desk.
Yes, getting organized is a cliche resolution - but it’s a cliche for a reason. If your desk is clean and organized, you’ll feel a certain peace of mind that will help you be more organized throughout the day, and therefore get more stuff done. When you go into the office after your holiday break, throw out the things you haven’t used in months, and clean up everything else. You can even splurge on some pretty office supplies to make things more fun (Kate Spade makes a gold stapler that is amazing. A gold stapler!). Just start cleaning. Oh, and buy some notebooks and planners to make the days easier.
4. Speak up more.
If you've always been the quiet one, just slightly timid, or even happy to sit on the sidelines, make this the year you step it up more. You have to speak up to get noticed in the working world, even when it's uncomfortable and embarrassing. Don't be afraid to present a new idea to your boss. Even if they turn it down, chances are, they'll be impressed that you came to them with something.
5. Fight for what you deserve.
Even though it's almost 2015, women still don't get treated as equals in every single career environment, and a lot of women are also still less likely to ask for a raise than men are. But if you're not getting paid as much as you feel like you deserve, or you think you're getting treated badly, don't just complain about it to your significant other—do something about it! Ask for the raise and you just might get it. If someone is treating you the wrong way, talk to the appropriate person about it.
6. Get to work early every day.
A little secret about working that most people want to ignore? If you get in even 20 minutes earlier, your day will be more productive. It sounds like such a short period of time, but it really does much a huge difference. Not only that, but it’s also an excellent way to impress your boss. If you’re already sitting at your desk before your boss walks in, or if you’re there before the rest of your co-workers are there, you’ll look more organized, more productive and more serious about your job. And all it takes is a little extra effort. You can do it!
7. And leave on time every day as well.
Yes, staying late to finish up your work can seem impressive—but it can also make it seem like you weren't managing your time enough to leave when you were supposed to. Besides that, it's cutting into your time, which isn't fair to you. Start making your schedule so that you can leave when you're supposed to leave. Work shouldn’t consume your whole life, and you need to make sure you don't let it. There's a difference between coming in 20 minutes early to get a headstart on the day, and leaving an hour late to finish something because you were Facebook stalking earlier.
8. Actually take your lunch break.
So many people out there skip their lunch break, or just eat lunch at their desk while staring at their computer. Start making time to actually go out and relax during lunch, even if it's only for 30 minutes. You deserve that time to yourself during the day! Even if you can't do it every day, resolve to do that at least once or twice during the week.
9. Don’t settle into your job; push yourself.
When you've been working somewhere for a while, it's easy to settle into a routine and to stop pushing yourself to do better. You should never let this happen—pushing yourself will not only be the way to impress people above you, but it's also a way to keep you on your toes.
10. Learn to love your job—and find something else if you don’t.
Work takes up so much of your day that you should be happy when you're there—or at least sort of happy. If you're completely miserable, stop complaining and go out there and search for something you think you would like better. Will it be easy? No. But it will be worth it. And if you're just feeling bored about your job, remind yourself of all of the reasons it's good to pump yourself up. Try to be more positive!