Practical tips and insights to help research administrators grow personally and professionally.
5 Professional Resolutions for a successful year
The start of a new year prompts me, like most people, to reflect on what I’ve accomplished over the past 12 months and to set goals for the year ahead. Most people set personal goals – lose weight, pay off debt, relax more – but it’s also a good time to set some professional goals and resolutions. After all, who couldn’t stand to be a better manager, leader, colleague, or employee? With that in mind, here are five professional resolutions to help you kick start the year with better habits and attitudes at work.
- Start each day with a positive attitude. A positive attitude is your best defense against the many challenges that will come your way throughout the day. Begin each day by looking at all of the things you have to be thankful for and tell yourself that it’s going to be a terrific day no matter what happens! Even if you don’t feel very chipper, acting cheerful will result in others being cheerful in response to you. In short, when you display a positive attitude, others will respond in kind.
- Show your appreciation. According the results of a recent Gallup study, people who had received praise or recognition for their work in the past seven days were more happy and productive. Make it part of your routine to let people know that their contributions are valued and appreciated. Spread positive encouragement and offer compliments when the occasion calls for it. Trust me, routinely showing your appreciation for other’s contributions will go a long way in fortifying your professional relationships and help make the workplace a happier and more productive environment.
- Improve time management and organization skills. Taking strides to improve your time management and organization skills can lead to great rewards such as less stress and increased productivity. First, start each day with a To Do List - think about your daily tasks and organize them by priority. Second, remember you don't have to do everything yourself – learn how to delegate tasks to responsible people and do not micromanage them. And, finally, remember that there are only so many hours in the day - if you find that a task cannot be completed, reschedule it for another day or delegate it to somebody else.
- Strive to learn something new every day. Like our bodies, our minds need exercise too. Expanding your knowledge base will not only help you adapt to new situations more easily and readily, inspire you to think more creatively, but perhaps most importantly, it can increase your value in this ever-changing world of research administration within in which we work. With the entire world just a few mouse-clicks away, it has never been easier to learn something new – read an article, research what other organizations are doing, subscribe to RSS feeds, listen to podcasts – the opportunities are endless.
- Increase your visibility. Promotion, recognition and reward more often come to people who have learned how to maximize their exposure and increase their visibility among peers, colleagues, and superiors. Increasing your visibility isn’t about kissing up or brown nosing – it’s about positioning yourself in the right place, at the right time, in front of the right people. Volunteer for special projects, join a committee, network with people outside your usual circle, and ask for bigger, better assignments which will increase your opportunities for exposure.
With warmest regards, I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011 and hope you find these professional resolutions helpful in the year ahead.