How to make career resolutions you'll keep

06 December 2009

Hong Kong, 8 December 2009 – The beginning of the New Year marks an important turning point for many people in their career.

Whether it is a raise, a promotion or a desire to achieve, professionals everywhere set themselves New Year resolutions to help them enhance their career goals. International recruitment firm, Robert Half, today reports on the most important career resolutions Hong Kong’s career minded professionals should consider and the difficulties that must be overcome in order to put promises into practice.

“The type of career resolution made is crucial to whether it is carried out”, says Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Hong Kong. “The issue is that some resolutions made are either not motivational, or are unattainable. For this reason they are often forgotten too easily. By devising attainable, motivational resolutions in 2010, goals are more likely to be achieved.”

This year, Robert Half offers some alternatives to the mundane and uninspiring to help Hong Kong’s professionals plan for a successful 2010:


Last year’s resolution: “I resolve to do better work”

Although this is a noble goal, a lack of focus is a common issue with New Year career resolutions. It is this uncertainty in a goal that will prevent progress, and thus it is best to set measurable objectives.

2010 resolution: “I resolve to read one industry publication a week” or “Before turning in my work, I will review it thoroughly so I don’t let any errors slip through”

Both goals are beneficial and specific in nature ensuring the resolution is more likely to be upheld.


Last year’s resolution: “I resolve to secure a raise”

This is a resolution most professionals can relate to. But, you do not always have control on the outcome of this objective, and in the current economic climate, a raise may be a particularly unrealistic expectation. It’s better to set goals you can control. Rather than focus on the money, focus on securing more training to help you improve your skills set.

2010 resolution: “I resolve to improve my skills”

By increasing your skills and qualifications, you increase your chances of earning a raise.


Last year’s resolution: “I resolve to do X, Y, and Z…”

When making resolutions, it is important not to overload yourself. By setting too many goals, accomplishing all your objectives will prove difficult and most likely result in disappointment. If you wish to accomplish more in a year, work at it step by step.

2010 resolution: “I resolve to do X by March”

Once you have completed the first task, you can move on to your next goal.


Last year’s resolution: “I resolve to land the corner office” Depending on your position, you may be reaching too high. You do want to make resolutions that will challenge your abilities, but also you want to set realistic objectives that you can accomplish.

2010 resolution: “Work with my manager and establish a plan for career progression”

This will help you take steps to move your career forward.


“It is also imperative to set a deadline to achieve your resolution goals”, says Morris. “Whether it is a week, a month, or a year, having a specific time frame in mind will help you to narrow your focus, and see how you are progressing. By making the right career resolutions and keeping them at the top of your mind, you’ll improve your changes of accomplishing them and moving forward successfully as a result.”

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