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The Top New Year's Resolutions for Employees

The Top New Year's Resolutions for Employees
Credit: Peter Djordjevic/Shutterstock

Career-related changes are on most employees' agendas for 2017, new research finds.

A study from Spherion Staffing revealed that more than 60 percent of American workers plan to take big professional big steps, such as finding a new job or launching their own business, or achieve smaller aspirations, like learning a new skill or trying to negotiate a higher salary.

"With the new year approaching, it's the perfect time for employees to take a step back and determine if they are truly happy with the trajectory of their careers, and whether they would like to make any changes to improve their current professional situations," Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president, said in a statement. "It's equally important, however, for employers to take notice of employees' priorities for the new year, to better meet their expectations and maximize the potential for retention and job happiness."

Money is the driving factor for those who plan to look for a new employer in 2017. The study found that 56 percent of the employees who covet a new job said a higher salary is their main motivation. Wanting to try something new and finding a better work-life balance were the other primary reasons employees will be looking for a new job in 2017. [See Related Story: Career Success Depends On Your Willingness to Learn]

Perhaps not surprisingly, the research showed that people who plan to stay in their current roles are pretty content with their jobs. More than 70 percent of the employees surveyed who won't be looking for a new job in 2017 said they are happy with their current work arrangement.

A location change also could be in the cards for many employees. The study discovered that 40 percent of all workers, and 62 percent of millennials, are interested in moving to a new city for professional reasons next year. The top four cities for workers interested in relocating are on the West Coast: Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Portland, Oregon. For millennials, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are the most popular destinations.

While New Year's resolutions often fall by the wayside, many workers believe they will actually follow through on their plans to make changes in 2017. The research revealed that 42 percent of the employees surveyed gave themselves an "A" or "B" grade for their ability to keep New Year's resolutions.

Overall, young professionals lead the way on following through on their goals for the new year. The study found that 46 percent of millennials have made job- or career-related resolutions more than once over the past five years, with 81 percent of those saying they actually followed through on those plans.

The study was based on surveys of 1,000 U.S. workers.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.