Man experiencing happiness at work.
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How to set yourself up for success at work this year

9 Jan 2023

Amid all the ‘new year, new you’ noise, here are a few practical actions to take for a successful working life in 2023.

The first few months of the year is a time when many have great intentions and plans. Do you want to be successful? Of course you do. Nobody wants to fall behind at work because it’s only going to cause problems in the long run.

Unfortunately, none of us are superhuman and sometimes we end up sitting at our messy desks in mid-April wondering where the past few months have gone. The to-do list from January has long disappeared and stress is mounting…

That’s definitely a situation to avoid. Being burnt out is not the measure of success. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure you achieve things at work without being stressed all the time.

Here are a few practical things to remember when it comes to setting yourself up for success.

Time management

This one is crucial to achieving your goals, for obvious reasons. If you have a certain amount of goals you want to achieve in a year, it helps to set rough deadlines.

Whether you need to reorganise your filing system or you want to learn a new skill, it’s always good to have a time-frame to work towards – especially if you’re prone to procrastination.

Focus on what you can control

It’s worth remembering that there’s no point having a list of goals to achieve by the end of the year if the results of those goals are out of your hands.

That’s just setting yourself up for possible disappointment when others are not thinking along the same lines as you.

Do everything you can on your end and accept that you can’t control or anticipate how your colleagues will behave.

For example, instead of saying to yourself ‘my goal is to get a promotion,’ try saying ‘my goal is to ask for a promotion’.

Anticipate your pitfalls

It sounds counter-intuitive to be focusing on your weaknesses when you’re trying to achieve something, but it can be beneficial.

If you know your weaknesses – whether its procrastination, lack of assertiveness or a tendency to steamroll conversations – then you can anticipate how they might interfere with your goals.

Chances are, your goals may have something to do with working on your weaknesses. (A procrastinator is generally trying to get things done, for example).

Knowing your weaknesses also ties in with the point about focusing on what you can control when it comes to being successful. You can definitely control your weaknesses if you put your mind to it.

Ask for help

It’s a sign of good character to be able to ask for help. Unfortunately, asking for help is viewed as a weakness by a lot of people who want to be successful.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter what you need help with, you’ll feel better once you get it off your chest.

And when you feel good and confident at work that’s when you’ll be happiest and at your most productive.

Learn a new skill

Stagnation is never a recipe for success and it can be too easy with all the other things life throws at us to give up on learning new things.

For constantly evolving industries like tech it is vital to keep your learning and development ticking over so you don’t end up getting left behind and having to catch up.

Do a little bit of upskilling every week and you’ll have a new skill to add to your CV in just a few months. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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