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5 Career-boosting New Year’s Resolutions to Make in 2016

For many of us, the start of a new year means the chance to start over and the promise that anything is possible. “What will 2016 bring?” we wonder. Will this be the year I finally meet the person of my dreams? Win the lottery? Sell my million-dollar idea on “Shark Tank”? If you’re hoping for a fresh start career-wise this year, consider the following resolutions for a healthier, happier work year.

  1. Learn a new skill (for free!).

Want to beef up your resume or pursue a secret passion? Do a quick Google search and you’ll find tons of free online classes for nearly everything on your bucket list – from learning to speak French to becoming the next Adele.

  1. Give happy hour a second chance.

For some people, happy hour is merely an extension of the work day and perceived as “forced fun;” however, socializing with co-workers outside the office has been linked higher levels of happiness and satisfaction on the job. (Just remember to behave responsibly.)

  1. Take a lunch break. Every day.

We all have busy days where we feel like we can’t break away, but forgoing your midday break can actually make you less productive. No matter how busy you think you are, forcing yourself away from your desk for even just a few minutes a day can reap multiple benefits for you – and your career.

  1. Ask for what you want.

Think it’s time for a pay raise? Hungry for a new project? Found a conference you want to attend? Ask for it already! Your boss isn’t a mind reader, so if you sit around waiting for them to suggest something, you may be waiting awhile. Yes, it can be scary to ask for what you want at work, but you may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

  1. Take a vacation – a REAL vacation.
    Feel guilty taking a vacation? Don’t. Turns out, it’s not only good for your health and happiness, it’s good for your career. And yet – and yet! – an estimated 40 percent of Americans let at least some of their paid time off go to waste, while 60 percent of still do work on vacation. Get yourselves together, people…
  1. Stop saying “sorry.”

Many of us find ourselves apologizing at work even if there isn’t anything to apologize for. Perhaps we do not want to appear rude, aggressive or unkind, but – whatever the reason – saying “sorry” too much can actually hurt your professional image.

  1. Start saying “no.”

Many working professionals have a hard time saying no at work for fear of missing out on opportunities, upsetting their managers or damaging their professional image. But if you are already stretched to your limit, taking on more work will only lead to more stress, missed deadlines and a lower quality of work. On the other hand, saying “no” at work – the right way – can actually boost your professional standing – and your job satisfaction.

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