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The best New Year’s career resolutions for people in their 30s
It’s great to set goals for your career, but you need to do it strategically
to make sure you can actually reach them. Jeanna McGinnis at Orlando,
Florida-based ReResumeMe recommends identifying a goal you can
realistically hit within six months, such as improving work quality or
“Be selective and choose something that will help you progress
towards your long-term career goals,” she says. Schedule daily
reminders about your goal, and remember: Even the smallest step
forward is a sign of progress.
Kick it up a notch
In 2018, focus on being aggressive in your career, recommends
Angela Copeland of Memphisbased Copeland Coaching. “Most of your
financial career growth comes near the beginning of your career, so
do your best to capitalize on this time,” she says. You should start
to get opportunities to lead in the next few years, so resolve to take
advantage of any doors that open for you, whether they’re new
projects, chances for collaboration or—yes—a better job somewhere
Find a mentor

Want to take your career to the next level? Set short-term and longterm goals to make 2018 your strongest year yet.
Looking for ways to jumpstart your career in 2018? Your 30s are an
excellent time to try new things, get aggressive and lay the foundation
for the next step in your career, experts say.
“It’s important to ask yourself some simple questions to help you
determine whether the career you’re pursuing will fulfill your desires
or whether you need to reassess your chosen vocation,” says John
Sader, principal consultant of Mind Dynamics Consulting in Australia.
That’s a scary thing to consider, but there’s no better time to think
about it than now, when change and experimentation in your career
are not only feasible—they’re also expected.
That’s why Monster talked to career coaches about some of the best
New Year’s resolutions for people in their 30s. Many of them focus on
taking a moment to see where you’ve been and where you want to go.
So if you’re looking to make some strides at work, along with the
expected “eat more vegetables” and “get more exercise,” check out our
readymade resolutions below.
Set a strategic goal

Your 30s are an excellent time to get some help from someone with
more experience or expertise than you, says Glendale, Arizona-based
author and business coach Laura Browne. But how do you find a
mentor? Identify someone who is where you want to be in 10 years,
and invite them out for coffee or lunch to learn more about how they
got there. While there’s no guarantee that what worked for them will
also work for you, there’s always value in forging new relationships,
whether or not they’ll lead to work.
Take a risk
Now is the perfect time to try something a little risky, so resolve to be
ready for opportunities in the coming year, says Houston-based career
expert Rick Gillis. With your training and education in your past, it’s
time to stretch your wings a little bit and see what you’re capable of.
Your 30s are when you can take a career risk that, in your 60s, you can
look back on and say, “I wish I had...” or, “I’m glad I did,” he says. And
anyway, who wants to play it safe their whole career?
Start tracking accomplishments
As you establish your career, it may seem like you’ll never forget your
achievements. But through the years, you may drop some of the details
that can make your resume stand out. Now is the time to
commit to keeping a list of all the things you are doing now,
Gillis says. That way you’ll be able to recall them when it
comes time for serious negotiation for a promotion.

Try something new
Don’t let your burgeoning career stagnate. Keep your skills up to
date by striking out in a new direction, recommends productivity
psychologist Melissa Gratias in Savannah, Georgia. Resolve to take
classes, read books or attend seminars on topics that will broaden your
horizons. This might mean learning to code, learning a new language,
reading books about a topic that isn’t in your field or taking classes on
public speaking.
Connect with others
Your 30s are the time to build your network through professional and
community affiliations, says Monique Honaman, CEO of ISHR Group in
Suwanee, Georgia. Build connections and relationships proactively and
intentionally with people you have the ability to help, and those who
may have the ability to help you, she says. Join a professional or trade
organization to meet people who will strengthen your network.
Get your finances in line
Resolve to get your financial practices in place and start saving for
retirement, says Laurie Battaglia, CEO of Living the Dream Coaches in
Scottsdale, Arizona. “Participate in your employer’s 401(k) or 403(b)(7)
qualified plan, especially if they match your investment,” she says. “You
are walking away from free money if you don’t.”
If possible, set up an automatic increase every year at raise time, so
you save your raise rather than spend it. “The key is to pay yourself
first and establish your own important financial goals. Understanding
your finances now will lead to great life-long habits,” she says.
Establish a process
With your growing responsibilities, you may not have thought
about how to manage it all effectively, says Maura Thomas, founder
of in Austin, Texas, and author of Personal
Productivity Secrets.
“Keeping track of all of your commitments, tasks and responsibilities
is a daunting challenge as you get promoted, grow your family and get
more involved in the community,” she says. She recommends resolving
to learn a good workflow management system so you can handle it
all with less stress, and ensure that you earn a reputation for being
organized and efficient.

Catherine Conlan, Monster contributor


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