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New Year’s Career Resolutions

How to Achieve Award-Worthy Excellence in the New Year

With the new year upon us, it is no secret that many of us will be operating on all cylinders in an effort to commit to superlative excellence in the exciting year to come. From personal goals to professional endeavors, we find ourselves sharing a common optimism for 2017.

In the spirit of achieving career success in the new year, here are five resolutions to consider for maintaining an impeccable professional reputation through 2017 and beyond:

1. Do your job with integrity. To ensure you’re doing your job with utmost integrity, make sure that you understand all of the duties assigned to you. Upon beginning your job, your employer should provide you with a list of job duties and clear expectations. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and to continue exploring the most efficient ways to perform your job. When you make a mistake, learn from it rather than repeat it. Even if you have already established a daily routine, remember to refer to your list of job duties from time to time in order to stay focused. If you take pride in what you do, you’ll make yourself—and your employer—happy.

2. Follow the rules. Read and understand your employer’s policies and procedures manual. It is your duty to learn and follow your employer’s rules and regulations. Refer to official documentation and appropriate resources when you have questions. If you are unable to find a clear answer, reach out to your supervisor to confirm your understanding of the policy. This will decrease your chances of careless errors and avoidable mishaps.

3. Be courteous. A self-confident attitude, smile, and friendly demeanor go a long way towards establishing strong working relationships with your supervisors, coworkers, and customers. Make an effort to be friendly, but realize that you are there to work and not to socialize. A sense of humor is usually appreciated, but always maintain a professional attitude and a dignified business persona.

4. Be a team player. In a team atmosphere, be an active listener. Your supervisor and coworkers will see that you value their opinion. However, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm. Employers want employees who take initiative, follow instructions, respond well to constructive criticism, and cooperate. Make it a point to attend meetings and company-sponsored social events to showcase your active commitment to the company.

5. Find a mentor. Find an experienced coworker who can serve as your mentor. Mentors help nurture your career—they may give advice, make suggestions, increase your access to senior management, and are oftentimes excellent listeners. To find a mentor, first identify your weak areas. Then identify individuals who are strong in these areas; those whose careers you admire, and those who have access to senior management. Begin by being friendly, asking advice from time to time, and slowly building a genuine and organic relationship. If you have trouble finding a mentor, consider joining a professional organization.

And above all, remember at the end of the day, you are ultimately in control of your success. Begin each day with the conscious decision to make every day a great day!

For more tips and information on achieving and maintaining professional excellence, visit