Career Advice: Start the year with a better job

January 13, 2015 by Margaret Townsend

The New Year Career Advice is that we should start the year with a better job, our New Year’s Resolutions tell us so!

According to the USA.Gov website the top 13 most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are;

Lose Weight

Volunteer to help others

Quit Smoking

Get a better education

Get a better job

Save money

Get fit

Eat healthy food

Manage stress

Manage debt

Take a trip

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Drink less alcohol

So I thought obviously if I were to combine all of those ideals and achieve each one I could have what the average American person would conceive as an almost perfect life – or year at least.  To tackle all of them together would be unmanageable so I needed to prioritize them into a manageable list that made sense.

How do I prioritize when they all seem so important?  Why would ‘save money’ come before ‘take a trip’ for example?  Then I realized I would have to prioritize based on money.  It makes the world go round after all!  As a start I decided to categorize the list into activities that cost money (C), saved money (S) and made money (M). 

Here is the same list, categorized by whether the activity costs (C), saves (S) or makes (M) money;

Lose Weight (S)

Volunteer to help others (C)

Quit Smoking (S)

Get a better education (C)

Get a better job (M)

Save money (S)

Get fit (C)

Eat healthy food (S)

Manage stress (C)

Manage debt (S)

Take a trip (C)

Reduce, reuse, recycle (S)

Drink less alcohol (S)

In doing this exercise I discovered something startling – only one resolution will make more money and that is to get a better job! 

Now I know my first step and that makes me feel a lot more confident in succeeding with all of my other resolutions and achieve everything that I want to achieve in 2015.

But what about the next steps?  Well, as we are basing our plans around having the financial means and support to complete the list in full, the intelligent next choices would be those that save the money we are making in order to be able to commit financially to the remaining costly resolutions and be successful.     

I was surprised to make a second discovery – half of our new year’s resolutions are based around living a healthier lifestyle and that is also where much of the money-savings are made.  

We are holding ourselves back from having healthy bodies and full lives and we know it!  There it is, plain and obvious in our combined yearly new year’s resolutions.

But this year is different.  This year we have a new method of getting through this list – together.  By prioritizing our combined resolutions in a practical way we can see how to make them work, be successful and change our lives.  

Here is our New Year Resolution list, now in order of priority as we know it should be (we’re getting there!);

Get a better job (M) – earn more money and prestige with a higher level position

Manage debt (S) – paying off your highest interest loan may take a while, but it’s the best place to start

Reduce, reuse, recycle (S) – you stop robbing yourself as well as the planet when you begin this one

Quit Smoking (S) – savings will depend on how much is normally smoked but will be significant

Eat healthy food (S) – if you’re clever, eating healthier should save you money not cost you more

Drink less alcohol (S) – save money, save your liver, save on hospital fees, save your life, save, save,save!

Lose Weight (S) – save & lose weight on what otherwise would have been spent on bad food or drinking

Save money (S) – see it as paying yourself out of your own money each week/month

Volunteer to help others (C) – volunteering should only cost your time and the cost of travel to get there

Get fit (C) – walking is free, but you will at the very least need to invest in a good pair of trainers

Manage stress (C) – stress relieving activities and advice tend to have some associated costs, albeit low

Take a trip (C) – the ultimate reward following hard earned and saved money (esp. with a fit body!)

Get a better education (C) – the initial cost will pay in the long run, both personally and professionally

….leading us to the start of another year with fresh prospects for a better job, more money and more success with New Year Resolutions we can afford.


 Good luck!

About the Author

Margaret Townsend
An experienced recruiter and job seeker, now co-founder of a private job search website. Blogs are full of practical tips and advice on career development, work-life balance, the job search and the job interview. Also writes in-depth unique articles about workplace issues such as gender diversity, HR practices, culture fit, employee engagement and gainful employment.

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