- Michael Ungar, Ph.D. is the founder and director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University. His work as a family therapist and resilience researcher is recognised around the world and his latest book, “Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success,” was released by Sutherland House in 2019.
- If your resolution this year is to change your workplace or your career, there are five easy strategies.
- Look for a better supervisor, create work comraderie, change up your physical environment, bulk up your credentials, and set aside some money.
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Lots of us will commit in January to making changes at work or in our careers. Most of us will, unfortunately, feel like failures by March. Here are five effective strategies for changing your workplace and your career in ways that are likely to last until at least this coming December.
All of these resolutions share one thing in common: they remind us that we have to change the world around us if we want to make individual changes stick. Simply adapting to a bad workplace or a lousy career is not a long-term plan for success.
1. Before you accept full responsibility for your performance on the job, look for opportunities to find a better supervisor.
Good leadership can motivate us and bring out our best. Lousy leaders do the opposite.
2. Get to know your colleagues
A cohesive team will make it much easier for you to withstand turmoil in the workplace. If your New Year’s resolution is to sell more, or be more productive, try first building a team atmosphere. It will make it easier to achieve your goal when others are rooting for you.
3. Change your physical environment at work
If you are working too many hours, or feel like your work is slowly wearing your body down, find ways to make the work environment healthier for your mental and physical wellbeing. If standing desks aren’t your thing, then at the very least commit to taking more frequent short breaks or use your lunch time to get away from your desk and sit under a tree. There is plenty of research that shows our productivity improves when our workplace makes us feel better.
4. Retrain or increase your credentials
Look for the financial and human resources you need this year to keep growing. You’re more likely to successfully improve your job prospects when you ask others to support you while you build your skills. Can your partner help? Are there government subsidies? Even downsizing your home for a time is likely to make it easier to realise a promise you make to yourself.
5. Put aside some money for a Plan B
The best New Year’s resolutions are those that are well resourced. If you can’t achieve everything you want to achieve this year, at least build a little hidden capital so that you can make a bigger, more successful change next year.