By Kristen Harris
What’s at the top of your New Year’s work resolution list? Get a raise? A promotion? Or maybe a whole new job? Do you want to make a difference? Have an impact?
You may be saying “YES!” to all of the above. Still, if you’re like most people in a recent Korn Ferry survey, your top work resolutions for 2020 are to create a greater impact/make a difference and to get a new job. 93% of respondents also said that, if they made a work-related New Year’s resolution, they would be able to keep it. (Hmmm…according to Forbes, that’s probably not the case, but let’s go with it).
Guess what? Unlike a lot of New Year’s resolutions, these goals are achievable, and you can make progress throughout the year. While it might sound like “get a new job so I can make a difference,” these two things don’t necessarily have to go together. It may be easier to tackle just one goal first and see where it gets you.
In this survey, 41% of respondents said that creating a greater impact or making a difference was their top resolution, but 24% said it would be the hardest one to achieve. Let’s make it easier to achieve! What can you do right now, where you are? Look around your current workplace for places where you could create an impact. Making a difference usually means helping other people–could you help customers or clients in a new way? What ideas do you have to make a difference for your co-workers? Does your company support community organizations or sponsor employee groups where you could get involved?
Look at your company’s mission for ideas of where you can make a difference. Here’s the thing about businesses–they exist to fill a need: to help someone with something. While it might not always seem glamorous, I’m willing to bet that no matter what product or service your company provides, you do impact others. Sometimes it’s a matter of looking deeper to see what you’re really delivering and finding ways to make that even more meaningful. For example, do you sell insurance or help people protect their family’s future? Do you work in a clothing store, or do you help people feel confident in the crucial moments of their life? Fill open positions or help people make the next right step in their career? (yes!) Most companies have a strong mission; I encourage you to look for ways you can connect with it.
But, let’s just say you’ve looked all around your workplace, read the mission, dug deep, and it’s just not resonating with you. If you genuinely don’t feel like the work you are doing matters, if you’re not passionate about the cause and can’t put your whole effort into improving the lives of the people you serve, then it’s probably time to look for a new job. Looking for a new job was the top work resolution of 31% of respondents to this survey, and 38% said they plan to look for a new job because the culture doesn’t fit with their values.
Now, culture can mean a lot of things, but one could be not feeling alignment with the mission or feeling like you’re creating an impact. See how this ties together? If you just can’t find a way to feel like you’re making a difference in your current work, then you might have to look elsewhere. That could be a new job in an industry that lights your fire. It could be a new role within your same company that challenges you and provides growth opportunities. Maybe it’s seeking opportunities outside of your daily work, through volunteering, freelance work, or a side hustle.
Whatever your resolution is for the new year, think about how you can plan to achieve it. If it does involve a new job or exploring your options, let us know. We’re excited about getting to create an impact and make a difference for the people we work with every day!