Career Success in 2019: Make Career Resolutions for the New Year a Reality

Part 1 of 4 in a special series of SHRM's 'Your Career Q&A' columns

By Martin Yate January 8, 2019
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Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column.   

Many of us make resolutions for the new year: to make more money, get a new job or promotion, be more successful or live a more balanced life. But by March we're still struggling to get those resolutions in motion. All too often they end up being nothing more than unfulfilled dreams and hopes because they're not harnessed to actionable achievement plans. Over the next four weeks, I'm going to walk you through how to keep those resolutions. You'll see the payoff in career success and satisfaction.


Take Control of Your Destiny

You manage your career by controlling where and how it progresses. If you don't, the health and stability of your career becomes something that others determine for you. The reality of work today is that employers will opt for a cheaper way to get the job done. Nobody's job is safe, and the looming impact of artificial intelligence and robotics on the workplace certainly doesn't improve the picture.

You can no longer rely on an employer for job security in exchange for commitment and hard work. It's time to decide what you want your future to look like and how you are going to make that your reality.

Finding new ways to achieve professional success, economic stability and a more balanced life is possible and should become a serious personal priority. As this is the time of year when we think about where we are and where we want to go, for the next four weeks we will be talking about a new approach to living a successful and fulfilled life. 

Money Makes the World Go 'Round

Your skills help your company make money, and you receive money for your skills. This makes you a financial entity. Companies take care of themselves; they survive, thrive or die based on their vision, planning and execution. 

Most companies started with someone just like you who had an idea and worked, struggled and worked some more until the idea became a success. These ideas are rarely successful on the first try. For example, Henry Dow went bankrupt more than once, learning something from each defeat, until in 1897 he founded Dow Chemical, now DowDuPont, which is currently No. 47 on the Fortune 500 list. Like Dow, we live in changing times and need to kick out what has been tried and is tired and no longer relevant and replace it with the strategies that this exciting new era makes possible.

Take a more businesslike approach to your career management. Think of yourself as a business that makes objective decisions backed by the plans, actions and commitment that will deliver your goals of stability and long-term prosperity.

When you start thinking of yourself as a business that must survive and prosper over the long haul, your career stops being something that happens to you. When you harness your resolutions to actionable plans, you will gain more control over your destiny and the overall quality of your life.

Your Life Is What You Make of It

Next week we'll talk about the specifics that will support a more successful, financially stable and personally fulfilling life. 

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter. 

Packed with practical, honest, real-world guidance for successfully navigating common HR career challenges, Martin Yate's new book The HR Career Guide: Great Answers to Tough Career Questions is available at the SHRMStore. Order your copy today!

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