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10 New Year's Resolutions for Young Workers

resolutions, new year's goals
Now is the time for young workers to reassess their careers. / Credit: New Year’s Resolutions image via Shutterstock

The first of January is quickly approaching, and many individuals have already drawn up their list of New Year's resolutions. Losing weight, exercising more, and even being nicer to people are popular pledges to begin the new year, but what about improving your career?

Each year, staffing firm Spherion conducts an Emerging Workforce Study, a survey of American workers designed to uncover trends in employee mindsets and employer practices, in the context of social and economic events.

"Throughout the last 15 years, Spherion has tracked and studied the changing attitudes of the American workforce and the resulting implications for U.S. employers," said Sandy Mazur, division president of Spherion. "​Our study reveals thoughts about topics such as recruitment, retention, work-life balance programs, job satisfaction, social media use in the workplace from both the perspectives of employees and employers. This research helps companies make more informed HR decisions that will positively drive employee engagement, productivity, retention and an army of brand influencers." [Business Idea: Human Resource Outsourcing]

As the up-and-coming generation of business leaders, millennials should be making concerted efforts early on in their careers to get the most out of their job experiences. Based on Spherion's 2013 Emerging Workforce Study data, here are the top 10 resolutions millennials should make at work in the coming year:

1. Get out of your seat more often. Most workers are sedentary during the work day, which can be harmful to one's health. Make it a habit now to get up at least once every two or three hours to stretch or walk around. When you're up, don't just walk around aimlessly. Stop by to see your manager or check in with a colleague whom you know but don't normally work with. 

2. Shadow senior leaders at your company. Fifty-six percent of millennials think the management climate, including open-door policies and or regular communication with employees, is important for retention. Schedule meetings with senior management to foster relationships and learn more about their jobs, which could give you greater insight on your career path.  

3. Think about what your manager would do. The majority of millennials prefer a job where they are expected to think of new and better ways of doing things. If you're stuck in a work rut, brainstorm how your manager would tackle your job and improve some of the tasks you do daily. Then, make those changes to show you genuinely care about your job. 

4. Create more time for work-life balance: More than a third of millennials work at least 41 hours a week, and nearly half say that the distinction between their work life and their personal life is not very clear. In 2014, create an escape from work by pursuing a hobby that provides stress relief and balance, but don't neglect your work in the meantime. 

5. Bring your personal interests into the workplace. If you enjoy volunteering in the community, organize an outing for you and your co-workers to participate in. Millennials are more socially conscious and driven by causes, so volunteering together will foster teamwork and provide greater fulfillment for you at work. 

6. Leave your bad habits behind to move ahead: For many millennials, the most important priority when thinking about the next step in their career is to get a promotion. But do your daily actions reflect that? Eliminate time-wasting distractions like constantly checking and responding to emails, and updating social media channels while at work. 

7. Improve your personal brand: How would you want your co-workers to describe you? Do you want to be a subject matter expert or a jack of all trades? Figure out what steps you need to take to improve yourself and be the worker that you want to be. 

8. Maintain your online brand: Nearly half of millennials say that their social network would be the first place they would go if they were changing employers. Make sure all of your social channels are up to date and free of any questionable photos and conversations. If your boss were to see your social profiles, would they bring pride or shame on you?

9. Participate in more training and education programs: College may be behind you, but that doesn't mean you should discontinue your education. Learn about your industry by attending related conferences and taking continuing education classes to sharpen your skills and become better at your job. 

10. Take advantage of your employer-sponsored programs: More employers are offering tangible benefits like 401(k) plans, telecommuting and flextime to attract and retain talent, but are you using them to your full benefit? Review the programs, make sure you're eligible, and participate in them as often as you can without negatively affecting your job. 

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.