Careers advice

5 career New Year’s resolutions for 2024

New Year, new you.

Last updated: 6 January 2024

Not yet nailed down the positive changes you want to make to your life in 2024? We get it, making New Year’s resolutions isn’t always easy.

Some of these might be personal – think fitness goals or travelling to a new country, while others might be professional. But, while sometimes, it’s easy to know that you want to make a change, it’s not always easy to determine what these changes should be.

So, to give you some food for thought, we’ve come up with five achievable career goals for 2024 that make for great New Year’s resolutions.

Is a new job on the cards in 2024?

1. Find a new job (and do it smartly)

We’ll start with perhaps the most drastic change you could make to your career in 2024 – finding a new job.

With the Christmas holidays in the rearview mirror, many Kiwi choose to start searching for jobs in the New Year. So, if you’ve been on the fence about leaving a role that’s no longer working for you, this is a good time to take the plunge.

A number of signs that it’s time to change jobs include:

  • Do you feel valued?: does your employer recognise and celebrate your contributions?
  • Are you happy?: do you come back at the end of each day fulfilled, or simply dreading the next day?
  • Are you making progress?: this could in the form of promotions, upskilling opportunities or fun projects you want to be involved with.
  • Do you have time for the other things in life?: is your job dominating every aspect of your life, or do you still have time for other things that matter.
  • Are you connected to the company values?: does the organisation’s mission and values resonate with you, or are you starting to feel disconnected?

If one, or several, of these factors sound familiar, it could well be time to look for a change. Now, you probably already know that Trade Me Jobs should be your first stop when it comes to looking for a new job. But you might not be aware of the range of job hunting tools we’ve developed to make this as easy as possible, such as:

  • A Trade Me Jobs Profile: Trade Me Jobs profiles allow employers to approach you with appropriate vacancies based on your listed skills and experiences.
  • Job search filters: the filters you’ll find on Trade Me Jobs allow you to narrow down your search based on criteria such as location, contract type, salary and work from home jobs.
  • Our salary guide: Trade Me Jobs’ free salary guide allows you to track trends in salaries in your job sector(s) of interest, and compare offers you’ve received with nationwide trends.
  • Saved searches: by saving your search criteria on Trade Me Jobs, you can choose to receive emails that notify you when relevant positions are listed.

2. Seek a promotion

Happy at your current employer, but keen to take on some new responsibilities (and perhaps earn a little more in the process)? Seeking a promotion is another worthy New Year’s resolution you could pursue in 2024.

However, sadly, getting a promotion isn’t as easy as simply desiring one. To increase your chances, you might want to try:

  • Embody the company’s values consistently, showcasing commitment in daily tasks to stand out for promotion consideration.
  • Take on extra responsibilities judiciously, demonstrating initiative and dedication, which not only impresses higher-ups but also broadens your business perspective.
  • Excel in your current role by hitting key performance indicators (KPIs) as it's crucial for proving capability, regardless of the shift in responsibilities with a promotion.
  • Cultivate essential soft skills, such as communication, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and creativity, especially vital for leadership roles.
  • Demonstrate initiative by suggesting innovations or improvements, signalling leadership potential and a proactive attitude toward creating value within the team.
  • Maintain open communication with your boss about your interest in future opportunities, tactfully expressing interest in roles that may become available without appearing presumptuous or insensitive to their transition.

Do you know what it takes to get a promotion?

3. Learn a new skill

Even if you’re perfectly content in your current role, it’s always a good time to learn a new skill. If you don’t have a particular skill in mind, good ideas include:

  • Te reo Māori: it’s one of Aotearoa’s official languages, and a great skill for any Kiwi to have. Further, if you’re working in sectors like conservation, being able to speak te reo will be of great benefit.
  • Public speaking: public speaking is something many of us fear, and that’s understandable. But there are a few tools and techniques that great public speakers use that can really take the fear out of it. There are also lots of options for learning public speaking skills, such as Toastmasters International.
  • A foreign language: harbouring ambitions of working overseas in a country where English isn’t spoken? Chances are you’ll need to pick up some of the local lingo. Even if this isn’t on the cards, learning a language is heaps of fun, and has been shown to be very good for your brain.
  • Data skills: we live in a world of data, so learning how to interpret and manipulate it, even on a relatively basic level, can be super handy, even if you don’t work in a data science job. You’ll find plenty of cheap data related courses on online learning platforms such as Udemy.
  • A software package: whether it’s Photoshop (for marketing, photography, graphic design) or Rstudio (for data scientists), or anything else you can think of, there are heaps of great courses online to teach you how to use many common software packages.

Career mentors can be worth their weight in gold.

4. Find a career mentor

Having a career mentor is like having a secret weapon in your professional arsenal. Picture them as your guide, confidant, and advocate all rolled into one. A mentor is someone more experienced in your field who shares their knowledge, guidance, support, and advice to help you navigate the twists and turns of your career journey.

Mentors provide invaluable insights gained from their own experiences. They offer perspectives you might not have considered, helping you avoid pitfalls and make informed decisions. Plus, they can introduce you to their network, opening doors to new opportunities or connections you wouldn't have access to otherwise.

Good places to look for a career mentor include:

  • Your manager: this is someone who’s been in your shoes before, and has taken their career to the next level. Sounds like a good person to learn from!
  • Other colleagues: some workplaces have purpose-built mentor programs where older employees help new starters find their feet and grow within the organisation.
  • Your network: your professional network is also another great option for finding a mentor.

5. Improving your work-life balance

A good work-life balance is key to your overall happiness, as well as your productivity at work, so a New Year’s resolution aimed at improving this equilibrium is very worthwhile. Among the ways that you might about achieving this are:

  • Setting your work hours: Assess workload urgency, discuss your workload with your manager, and learn to politely decline last-minute requests affecting your work-life balance.
  • Prioritising your time: Manage time through lists, prioritise urgent tasks and use handy tools like Trello.
  • Organising your workstation: Ensure comfort at work, remove clutter, and consider ergonomic tools to reduce physical strain.
  • Talking to your manager: Communicate challenges to your manager for support in creating a plan that benefits both parties.
  • Getting enough exercise: Incorporate stress-relieving activities like walking during breaks to unwind from work stress.
  • Unplugging: Turn off work devices during free time to relax, maintain relationships, and engage in personal hobbies.
  • Getting sufficient sleep: Prioritise sleep for overall well-being and improved work productivity.
  • Making time for your hobbies: Allocate personal time for hobbies to enhance satisfaction and break up work routines.
  • Spending time with positive people: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and pets to destress and rebuild relationships outside work.
  • Taking a vacation: Consider taking short breaks or longer vacations to rejuvenate and plan a refreshed approach for work upon return.
  • Being kind to yourself: Let go of perfectionist tendencies, acknowledge mistakes, and understand the importance of self-care for a better work-life balance.
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Al Hall
Al Hall

Al Hall is a regular contributor at Trade Me Jobs and Trade Me Property. He’s dedicated to helping people succeed in their aspirations to find their dream job and place to live.