A new year calls for new career aspirations and goal setting. This is especially true for employees today, who are confronted with technological disruption and evolving career trends. According to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey Report 2018, 43% of millennials plan to quit their jobs within two years and only 28% intend to stay beyond five years. Respondents to the survey also expressed concern regarding their preparedness for ‘Industry 4.0’. The digital revolution demands that the current generation of employees gear up for technologies such as analytics, data science, AI and IOT, along with soft skills.

So, whether you are looking for a career change in the next year or not, it is evident that you need to upskill yourself to match pace with the rapidly changing industry dynamics. Come 2019, here are five resolutions that can help you steer steadily on your career path. 

set specific personal goals 

Knowing where you see yourself in the next few years is not just a tool for cracking interviews, but also for growing your career in general. Chart a path for yourself and map your career milestones accordingly. Try the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) system to create quantifiable and achievable goals. A study by Harvard Office of Human Resources reveals that goal setting is crucial for making efficient use of resources as well as making work more engaging.  Whether it’s a career change, an alteration in your current profile or a step towards your dream company, set a specific goal for the next year. The clarity will help you become more proactive and decisive in your career-related decisions. 

know your company’s vision and align with it

Aligning your personal goals with your organization’s can be the key to deeper engagement and commitment to the job. The SHRM Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey showed that 39% millennials feel that their contribution to the overall business goals of the organization is  very important to their job satisfaction. Knowing that your contribution to your company’s business goals is also advancing you on your own career path will motivate you to perform your job more efficiently. 

upgrade your technical skills

As a growing number of organizations move towards adopting new technologies and automating their processes, the ability to learn and adapt quickly is rated as the topmost attribute by recruiters. In an Economic Times article, ‘openness to learning’ is ranked as one of the top preferred skills by employers.  Consciously look for opportunities that can help you either advance in your own profile or diversify into cross-functional areas. From on-the-job training to webinars and formal courses, you can choose to learn in any form, as long as it advances you to the next stage of your career.  

put soft skills on an equal footing with hard skills 

More than ever, top recruiters are keen on shortlisting employees who score higher on soft skill assessments. According to PWC’s 20th CEO survey, 77% of  the 1400 CEOs surveyed consider the lack of development in soft skills as the biggest threat to organizations. Soft skills such as ability to work in a team, flexibility, communication and so on are tougher to gauge and train for - as compared to hard skills. It’s therefore critical that you focus on improving your emotional intelligence and people skills as much as your technical knowledge and abilities. 

network both within your organization and beyond

To a great extent, career growth depends on the strength of your relationships within your organization. How you get along with your team, your manager and your senior managers, speaks volumes about your communication skills as well as your value in the company. Expanding your professional network by using the digital media can be a great move as well. It is estimated that 85% of job searchers find their matches through networking. Leverage networking platforms such as LinkedIn and other social media to connect with people with shared interests beyond your work place. 

Making career resolutions will not only help you create a bigger vision for yourself but also build your personal brand as a high potential. However, sticking to your resolutions can be tougher than expected as forming habits can take anywhere from three weeks to a year, depending on how hard they are. Using a focused strategy that profits your organization while fueling your personal ambitions, can pave the path for your success.