Ah January resolutions – they always start off so well don’t they? And we bet that you’ve created a super-list of shiny new promises that you’ve recited to your mates about how to create a better, stronger, smarter you for 2018. But even though it’s great to embark on a journey of self-improvement, remember that it’s not just limited to January of each year, and if you’ve made some ridiculous career resolutions – it’s totally ok to break them by February. (Well these ones at least…)

Ridiculous Resolution #1: I’m going to… master a new skill in record-time
Actual Solution: You should…improve your current skills
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Oh so you want to be fluent in Spanish by the end of the year by downloading an app? Unlikely. Although widening your skills-repertoire is highly worthwhile, it’s only going to make you stand out in the job market if you’ve mastered something to a pretty high level. Instead of trying to pick up new skills (which get harder to do as you get older according to science) focus on perfecting stuff you can already do well. After all: jack of all trades, master of none…divider

Ridiculous Resolution #2: I’m going to… get work experience at *insert huge brand here*
Actual Solution: You should…send your CV off to lots of smaller companies

We always tell you to dream big when it comes to your career – shoot for the stars in fact – but also be realistic about landing on the moon. Don’t expect internship offers to come flooding in if you apply to some of the most popular programmes around, because chances are, most people will be doing the same and competition will be tougher. Instead, look up smaller companies and give your application the personal touch: track their progress, see what successes they’ve had, and tailor your CV to their needs.

Ridiculous Resolution #3: I’m going to… quit my job
Actual Solution: You should…negotiate a pay rise or promotion

Unless things are highly unbearable, we reckon you should think long and hard before throwing in the towel at work just because it’s January and you fancy a change. If you feel stuck in a rut and think you should be moved up, tactfully stage a meeting with a senior team member and bring up your previous successes as evidence as to why you deserve a promotion. Ask them what you can do to improve your performance and if there’s currently no room for progression or you get turned down, make it clear that you are looking for other opportunities and see if they can meet you half-way. Do not quit on a whim – unemployment is so not fun.divider

Ridiculous Resolution #4: I’m going to… start my own business
Actual Solution: You should…shadow some start-ups first

Although the UK was recently named one of the best places in the world for budding entrepreneurs, getting an idea off the ground is notoriously difficult. For a taste of what working for yourself is really like, why not get some experience at a start-up and find out the intricacies of the business world? At the very least you’ll get inspired, and get to do some serious networking…


Ridiculous Resolution #5: I’m going to… network ruthlessly
Actual Solution: You should…network better
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Ok so you’ve got a little black book to rival that of a showbiz agent – good for you! But it’s not always about what contacts you have, but more about how you use them. This year focus on building meaningful professional relationships instead of swapping numbers with the cool kids. If you plan on attending a networking event, always have a game plan: who are you going to chat to? What do you want to tell them? How are you going to persuade them to swap digits with you? If you’re still stuck, watch our Networking Masterclass video for tips on how to become buddies with other like-minded professionals

Ridiculous Resolution #6: I’m going to… ask for that promotions
Actual Solution: You should…make a move that is going to help your career long-term

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Sometimes it can feel that moving ‘up’ is the hallmark of career success and it’s not true (although we’ve all been brainwashed to believe otherwise). Just because a promotion is coming up, doesn’t mean you should necessarily take it. If you’re in any way unsure about your chosen field then taking on more responsibility or longer hours in exchange for a bigger salary isn’t going to make you happy. Instead of caving to social pressure, think strategically about your next career move and where it will take you in the future.

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