The Career Resolutions To Make For 2021

The Career Resolutions To Make For 2021


Whether it’s finally earning that promotion or switching jobs completely, working from home shouldn’t stop you from achieving your career goals in 2021. Easier said than done? We went to the experts to find out which resolutions are most realistic this year, and the practical ways to make them happen.
Photography / jacoblund

Susy Roberts, executive coach and founder of people and development consultancy Hunter Robert says…

Resolve to be visible, despite not being in the office. 

Make sure you schedule regular one-to-ones with your boss and update them on what you’re doing. Remember, they’ll be just as stretched as everyone else, so don’t needlessly email every time you complete a task, but remind them to schedule in face-to-face one-to-ones regularly so you can talk through progress and report on your successes.

Susy’s three main tips…

  1. Look at what development you can do while working remotely – something that takes you out of your comfort zone. If you have capacity, ask if you can take on something different or new, or if you have ideas for new ways of doing things, suggest them.

  2. Get yourself an internal mentor in the business. Alternatively, if you have time, also volunteer to become a mentor to someone more junior so you’re making a wider contribution to the company.

  3. If you seriously want to progress, look at some of the latest thought leadership books that are out, or watch the latest TED talks and other resources on YouTube. Also, when you’re in Zoom meetings, make sure you’re positively contributing so people can see your value.



Jane Donnelly, regional managing director at Hays, says…

Resolve to take more initiative & responsibility.

The best career advice I ever received was don’t wait to be given responsibility – take responsibility and be clear on your purpose. To me, this couldn’t be more relevant to our current world of work. Being proactive, confident and open-minded at work is going to set your career on a positive path through expected changes and challenges ahead.

Jane’s three main tips…

  1. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. With new tougher restrictions in place across the UK, it’s understandable that many of us are feeling apprehensive about our careers. My advice is to not let this stop you from going for new opportunities and taking risks. At the very least you’ll learn something new.

  2. Keep your goals in focus. Having some clear career goals will keep you focused and engaged in your job. Allow these to be flexible as things continue to change, but keep them in your sights.

  3. Connect to your organisation’s purpose. With so much change clouding our world of work, feeling connected to the purpose of your job and organisation will keep you grounded and motivated.



Caroline Britton, life & business coach and spiritual healer says…

Resolve to know your worth.

It’s so easy to spend time looking at what others are doing with their careers or within the industries we work in and fixate on how we measure up against them. We can get sucked into all the reasons that people are more impressive than us or why we aren’t as capable or qualified as we think we should be. This year I encourage you ditch the self-criticism and know your worth. How you perceive yourself affects everything - from the way you show up to the energy you emit. It’s a game changer.

Caroline’s three main tips…

  1. Process and release your insecurities. Our ego loves nothing more than to list all our faults and past mistakes. The best thing to do is get really clear with the narrative about who you are and what you are capable of. Write down all the ways in which you feel you are not enough, worthy enough, good enough and then take them to task. Write opposing arguments, ask loved ones to argue against them, and ask yourself how you could view it differently. 

  2. Build your confidence. Write a list of all the reasons why you are proud of yourself. All the reasons you are unique. Write down anything that feels true to who you really are and if it is something that you have previously seen as a pitfall then pivot it to something positive. Many of your superpowers will be hidden in what you have been telling yourself doesn’t fit in. 

  3. Practice doing something scary each day. The scary things tend to be the most expansive. So, think about something that feels exciting and then get moving forwards with it. These things don’t need to be colossal – it can be contacting someone you want to work with, speaking up in a meeting, asking to change roles, buying the domain for your business idea. Just think if you do one scary thing each day – that adds up to a lot over the year. 


The best career advice I ever received was don’t wait to be given responsibility – take responsibility and be clear on your purpose.
- Jane Donnelly

Nadja Chaieb, career fulfilment coach says…

Resolve to move closer to your own goals – while also preparing for setbacks.

The pandemic has made us truly reflect on our lives and careers. You might have questioned whether you're in the right position or in the right place in life. Maybe you have asked yourself questions as ‘’What do I really want with my career?’’ or ‘’Is this it?" The crisis has been the wakeup call for many ambitious professionals, but believe it or not, crises create opportunities. It explains why the New Year should mark the start of something new for many.

Nadja’s three main tips…

  1. Be positive when it comes to goal setting. Formulate your New Year's resolution into a specific goal – something you want to achieve (for example, start to work for a specific company or in a certain position, get promoted), rather than an avoidance goal, i.e. something you want to get away from (for example, your employer, a low pay check or poor!? manager).

  2. Set some boundaries of your own. Do not promise yourself a career change just because people around you want it, think about what you really want and why you want it. If you only set goals for the sake of it, you will still not find the motivation to pursue them, which risks taking focus away from what you really want. Not achieving a goal can also feel like a failure, and if the goal is not important to you, then it’s a waste of energy.

  3. Most important of all: Be prepared for setbacks. Most of us who make New Year's resolutions face difficulties along the way. Treat these missteps as temporary learning opportunities, however, and it is possible to take advantage of what has happened and be better equipped for the future. 



Emma Robinson, founder & managing director at Red Diamond Executive Headhunters says…

Resolve to deal with the distance & be open to change. 

Working remotely is here to stay, so make sure you’re on top of your game. Ensure your tech is up to date, functions well and that your broadband won’t let you down in the middle of a crucial call or interview. Make sure you’re well-presented when you do join that call – those who are proactive and are willing to embrace these new ways place themselves in a stronger position and are more likely to catch the eye of their bosses or managers.

Emma’s three main tips…​

  1. It’s also a great time to embrace new skills. While traditional classroom-based training courses are pretty much on hold, there’s a plethora of excellent and often free distance learning opportunities out there so do take advantage of them – especially if you’ve been furloughed.

  2. Over the past 12 months or so, we have seen job titles and responsibilities evolve faster than ever before. There has been a subtle shift in requirements with innovation and agility among the most sought-after qualities in executive roles. Businesses that have thrived during the pandemic have been those that are agile and can change their offering or way of working to respond to changing demands – and to do so effectively requires agile leadership. Try to fit in with that flexibility, and show that you’re willing to go beyond the remit of you job description to pitch in.

  3. Don’t neglect your own wellbeing. Suggestions might include dressing up or down (depending which one makes you feel better about settling into a day of work), ensuring you get fresh air and having a ‘power hour’ where you work through all the weekly housekeeping tasks you tend to put off.


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