5 NY’s Resolutions for Career Success

“The end of the year is often a time of reflection.”

P.K. Agarwal, Dean, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension

The end of the year is often a time of reflection. We take inventory of where we are in our lives, renew our intentions, and reinvigorate the vision of our lives with ambitious New Year’s resolutions. Success, however, is often a result of many small steps, practices that we implement into our daily lives. Here, I offer up my top suggestions to strengthen your foundation, enrich your professional life and broaden your opportunities. Make 2020 a great year!

—  P.K.


1. Learn more about AI and data analytics.

These two dynamic areas are the transformative forces shaping the future of our enterprise and society. Having a level of comfort with these topics will differentiate you in your organization. It will broaden your opportunities. This applies to you even if you are not a tech professional. AI and data analytics will soon become core skills just like learning to use a computer was 30 years ago.

2. Pay attention to your professional network.

Join a new association or a Meetup group. Ask what you can do to bring additional value to this network. You will be amazed at the payback that comes without asking for a return. Plus, you will have fun doing it and meet new people.

3. Work on strengthening one new soft skill.

A large portion of your professional success is attributable to your soft skills—up to 80 percent by some estimates. But we tend to ignore the development of our communication, listening, and collaborative abilities. Take a look at this list and pick one thing to focus on this year. You can always go with an evergreen idea and work on your presentation skills.

4. Go on a “tech fast” for two weekends this year.

Our brains get cluttered due to a constant buzz of tech stimulus, good and bad. There’s nothing like giving up on technology for a bit to help think clearly and discover who you are and where you are in your life. While you are at it, give up sugar and alcohol at the same time. Spend time outdoors and alone. Solitude is not loneliness.

5. Make a difference in one person’s life.

We all like to think we are spiritual human beings. Enable this inner voice. Make a conscious measurable effort to give back. Remember, your current success is not entirely of your own making. The world had a lot to do with it. Time to give back some?

And a BONUS resolution…

6. Strengthen your professional skills.

The knowledge domain for every profession is expanding rapidly. Take at least one course that strengthens your knowledge on the job.

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