1. Put a hard focus on soft skills. Executives polled said the top characteristic necessary for career success is being motivated to learn a new skill. That was followed by having strong interpersonal skills and adapting easily to change. Choose a skill to acquire or improve in 2017, and consider making it a soft skill, like listening, communication or conflict resolution.
2. Go on an email ‘diet.’ Executives polled said, on average, 17 percent of the time they spend on email is wasted. The biggest culprits are spam, being copied on irrelevant messages and information that would have better been communicated another way. Take time to set up better spam filters. Also, vow to respond to email several times a day versus as each message comes in – it will save you time and enable you to provide more thoughtful, relevant responses.
3. Get some Zzzs. Nearly three-quarters of workers polled said they work while tired. The result? Lack of focus, procrastination, grumpiness and mistakes. It can be very challenging to find more time to rest, and it may feel self-indulgent. But that mid-day nap or extra hour of shut eye just may improve your job performance.
4. Find the right mentor. Eighty-six percent of executives feel it’s important to have a mentor. Yet only 26 percent actually have them. The biggest benefit of these relationships is learning from someone in a role you aspire to, according to respondents. So, pair up with someone who is doing what you want to be doing and commit to the relationship. Make it easy for them to guide you by being respectful of their time and showing appreciation for their insights.
5. Get a move on. More than one-third of professionals polled believe relocating to a new city will help their career prospects. But finding that right locale can be tough. Research the job market for professionals with your skills in various areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data that can help. The Robert Half City Comparison Tool can help you find a city that suits your tastes.
If you're a job seeker and looking for a fresh start or change in 2017, start by updating your resume. Then follow these tips and make 2017 a great year, both personally and professionally.