Forget common sense advice about advancing your career or creating the ideal business environment.
We've found wisdom in the unconventional, and we're sharing it with you today in the form of off-the-wall New year resolutions.
1. Ditch the good pay
Don’t settle for a lousy good-paying job. I know, I know. You’ve probably heard this a million times already, the same way people tell themselves they’ll go on a diet, or take that vacation. Cliché as it sounds, it’s true, and we will make sure to remind you of it.
Don’t stick with a good-paying job if you’re unhappy by the end of the month when you’re cashing in that fat paycheck. Things are tough, but you’ll always find something else that won’t stake your peace of mind.
Entrepreneurs and startups: Similarly, don’t accept projects just for the sake of making a sale. According to Dr. Ajita M. Robinson, CEO of Friends in Transition Counseling LLC: "Say no often. As small business owners, we are afraid of saying no to customers or potential customers, and we end up doing work that is outside of our expertise or our businesses' desired activities. Our resources and time could be better utilized attracting our ideal customers.”
2. All work and all play
If you enjoy your job (which we hope you do!), this should be a given. Regardless, stress can get to the best of us, and it is important to slow down and take a breather from time to time.
Picture this. You’re in “crunch time” ahead of a tight deadline, but in a desperate need for a short break. You leave your ergonomic desk chair, cross a set of colorful corridors, and enter the kitchen. You grab a complimentary snack and drink, then head to the lounge where a couple of your colleagues are discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Resting on a bean bag, you spend 15 minutes with them, munching on snacks and geeking out.
In 15 minutes, you’re energized and ready to get back to work (if you don’t get too comfortable on the bean bag and call it a day). The power of socialization and an engaging recreational space is truly wondrous.
3. Start an Instagram e-store
As financial gurus have preached since forever, financial security is truly attained by maintaining multiple streams of income. Today, this is easier than ever.
In the GCC, new beauty and fashion brands have popped up left and right, selling their wares on Instagram. Created by trendy fashionistas looking to make some cash on the side, or by mothers looking to bring in more cash for the family, Instagram has proven to be a super easy way for almost anyone to launch a new micro business.
Who knows. You could be the next big influencer to hit the scene.
4. Save the planet, save money
Global warming and pollution remain major risks that threaten the future of our planet. The Paperless Project reports that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every single year. Employees, try to adopt a sustainable mindset in all aspects of your life, in the office and beyond. Recycle more, consume less plastic, use fewer disposables and be more informed about your appliance usage at home for a lighter electricity bill at the end of the month. Your wallet will thank you for it, and so will the planet.
The paper, glass, metals, plastic, and organic material Stanford University recycled in 2016 saved a total of about 70,481 million BTUs of energy; enough energy to power nearly 613 homes for one year, i.e. 567,3014 gallons of gasoline.
Likewise, managers at the workplace should put more emphasis on sustainability in all aspects of work, from cutting down on paper in the office, to using environmentally-friendly processes and materials at the production line, to packaging products and delivering them to store shelves in a green manner. Customers prefer businesses with a positive environmental footprint, according to a recent study by Nielsen titled "How and Why Sustainability is Gaining Momentum with Customers."
5. Enjoy the great outdoors
Millennials are known for their preference for remote working, or teleworking. As jobs continue to demand more time from us, we often feel the need to break from office routine. With the flexibility that technology allows us, it is often very easy for full-time employees to perform the entire array of their duties from the comfort of their couch with no drop in work quality. The change in routine and work environment will do you wonders.
Businesses need not fret – there are benefits for allowing your employees to work from home. In fact, Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom discovered in a 2-year study he conducted that productivity was, in fact, higher than he could possibly imagine, and the company surveyed saved $2000 per employee on rent, as reported by Inc.com.
6. Disconnect online, connect face-to-face
Glued to your smartphone? Don’t let the world pass you by. Focus on people or places around you that actually matter.
The average person in the UK spends more than a day a week online, according to a landmark report on the impact of the “decade of the smartphone” by Ofcom in 2018, and as reported by the Telegraph. It’s no different in the Middle East, where smartphone penetration reached significant highs in 2018.
In 2019, try to win more time with your loved ones and your colleagues at work (we know it’s tough), and you’ll see a notable improvement in your happiness and morale.
As for businesses, it can be easy to get lost in the email culture that has risen as a result of the Internet age, but remember that emails can never replace face-to-face communication. Get physical and make an emotional connection with your employees (within reason of course). Encourage more casual meetings from time to time, and be open to water cooler culture and lunchtime chats.
7. Learn a new language
Learning a new language with the turn of a new year could help reinvigorate your personal life and do wonders to your career.
CareerBuilder.com’s hiring forecast showed that 39% of U.S. employers said they plan to hire bilingual candidates, and half said that if they had two equally qualified candidates, they would be more inclined to hire the bilingual one, according to Life Hack.
Learning a language has been shown to add between 10–15% to your wage, according to language specialist recruitment agency Euro London.
8. Thank those who got you here, professionally
We take many things for granted in our lives, but it is important to show appreciation and gratitude to the people in your professional life that helped propel your career so far.
Likewise, businesses can make more of an effort to show their employees that they appreciate all their hard work with occasional financial rewards and fringe benefits doled out. Even a simple email or one-on-one between a manager and employee can do wonders for employee morale, productivity and retention.