New Year – New Career?

January 1, 2019

Happy 2019!brooke-lark-194254-unsplash

According to this article, fewer people are making new year’s resolutions to exercise or lose weight. More people (37%, up from 6% in 2018) are focusing on saving money. Others seem to be resolving to make new friends (11%), get a new job (12%), and find love (7%).

If you are among the 12% looking for a new job this new year, here are some career resolutions that can help you stay on track.

  1. Resolve to be more accountable by joining a job search group.
    If you want to make a change in your professional domain, you should start by making SMART resolutions. SMART is an acronym used to describe goals as :

     = Specific
    M = Measurable
    A = Attainable
    R = Realistic
    T = Time-bound

    Many resolutions are too vague and don’t put in the accountability often needed for success. For example, often individuals find that having a workout buddy can help them actually get to the gym because there is now an external source of accountability. If you think you would benefit from having an external support group and you are at the NIH, consider applying for the 2019 Job Search Work Team. This support group will meet weekly for a month in order to promote career-oriented action steps among members. For more details, see the online application here:

    If you are outside the NIH, consider creating one of your own with friends/colleagues. This could be a great way to kick start your new year and stay on track!

  2. Resolve to do one thing.
    This seems like a manageable resolution, right? Too often, people make too many resolutions and then become overwhelmed about where to start. Choose just one thing and follow through. If you need some ideas on what that one thing should be, check out our monthly calendar of suggestions here. Whether it is speaking with your PI about your career or making an appointment with an OITE career counselor, choose one thing and do it.

  3. Commit to your own wellness.
    Job searches and transitions are rife with stress. Not only are you trying to continue to be successful in your current role, but you are actively searching for the next best step for yourself. It can be a struggle to feel calm and centered when your schedule feels chaotic. Try to build activities into your daily routine which can help, whether that is arriving at work a bit earlier to get through emails or spending some time at lunch meditating. If you are at the NIH, there are many resources and activities that focus on wellness. You can see the full listing here.

Resolve to Make SMART Resolutions

January 9, 2015

Ahhh, a new year and the opportunity to make new resolutions! The act of making these resolutions can prompt you to evaluate and clarify your goals. Given the fact that so many resolutions revolve around one’s career, the OITE often takes advantage of this time of the year to help guide you in your resolution making. For example:

As you can see, we are fans of resolutions, but many of us can attest, our resolutions and our good intentions often fail. Why is this? Many times, it is because we don’t make SMART resolutions.

is an acronym used to describe goals and it stands for:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Time-bound

SMART goals are clearly defined so it is easy to determine whether you succeeded or fell a little short. Many resolutions are much too vague. A common New Year’s resolution is “lose weight.” Making this a SMART goal would turn this statement into “Lose 15 pounds by August and have kept it off until December.” Another frequent resolution is to “save more money.” Making this a quantifiable goal is an easy semantic change of “Have at least $5,000 in my savings account by July.”

These examples can give you an idea about how to make your goals more specific (S), measurable (M) and time-bound (T). However, only you will know what is attainable (A) and realistic (R) for yourself. Deciding what is attainable and realistic for you in this moment is a very personal decision, but remember that accomplishing something new often requires change and effort to disrupt the status quo. It can be easy to change your desired goal because of an arisen challenge mid-way through.  We encourage you to find that tricky balance between challenging yourself while managing realistic expectations.

Making SMART goals can be difficult, but meeting with a career counselor can help. We look forward to working with you to achieve your SMART career goals in 2015! Happy New Year!