You’ve made your New Year’s resolutions. Congrats!
Now, what are the odds you’ll follow through with even one?
Remember your 2017 resolution to eat healthy? That went bust 350 Chalupa Supremes and 15 pounds ago. And don’t forget your resolution to devote one day a week to charitable endeavors. That flopped big time — unless you consider watching football all weekend on an 88-inch 4K Ultra HD TV with High Dynamic Range a charity. (And it just might be, if you’re a Cleveland Browns fan.)
But there’s still time to turn it around. You can still fulfill a resolution you’ve been making since you graduated from high school — to get a new job that pays really well and requires absolutely no effort on your part.
This is where Suzanne Gelb comes in. Gelb recently published “20 Career-Boosting Steps You Can Take Before New Year’s Eve” on The Muse website. I don’t have the space to share all 20 career-boosters, but I am happy to provide a smattering. After all, it was my 2017 resolution to help you with your career. With 51 columns behind me, and no improvement in sight, this could be my last chance.
The No. 1 action step is simple. “Write down your wins.”
Fortunately, you won’t have to waste endless hours evaluating and prioritizing your wins. Unless you include the Tupperware container full of half-moldy oatmeal-raisin cookies you found in the breakroom fridge, you don’t have any.
No. 2 is “Congratulate Someone on Their Career Success.” Indeed. Congratulate your manager on her extreme good fortune in working with an employee like you. Together, you’ve demonstrated your manager’s ability to work with the mentally unhinged. This is a very useful skill as she rises up in the company and has to spend more time with corporate leaders.
“Redesign Your Professional Materials” is career-booster No. 3. I do like Gelb’s suggestion to “order beautiful new business cards,” but use the occasion to give yourself a beautiful name, as well. Start using a subtle pseudonym, like Anita Promotion, or Iwanna Raise. Or give yourself a rapper name, like The Meltdown, or Total Loser One. You may be surprised to learn your co-workers have been calling you these names for years.
Prepare for the deluge of New Year new job interviews with “Learn How to Answer the Most Common Interview Questions.” Be especially careful to include devious, trick questions, like “How are you?” and “Did you have any trouble finding our offices?”
The first question suggests that the interviewer knows about your history of hostility to authority figures and is trying to avoid a blowup. The correct answer is, “None of your beeswax, Buster.”
The second question suggests that you are too dumb to use a map or a GPS. You’ll want to answer this question by listing every turn you took to get there. Don’t be afraid to show off with plenty of details. “I considered taking Wellington Street to the freeway, but decided on Florence Avenue because I can usually catch the light at Emerson, which puts me on the freeway two exits behind where I would usually get on, but gives me a chance to get into the carpool lane, which I can use even if I’m alone, because I always keep a pink plush panda in the passenger seat. Sometimes I even let him drive.”
That’s the kind of attention to detail that hiring managers love, and, after the interview, you can send a pink plush panda as a follow-up bribe, or even more personal, break into their home and leave it on the bed.
No. 10 is “Update Your Professional Wardrobe.” I hardly think this is necessary for you, but I would check with the latest issue of GQ. This may be the year when spats go out of style.
No. 11 is “Invest in a Standing Desk.” Or, even better, saw off the legs and drawers and put the desktop on the floor. That way you can get the ultimate office productivity tool — the lying-down desk. Replace your desk chair with a pillow and you’re good to go.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include author Gelb’s final suggestion: “Make an effort to re-connect with people you admire.”
I know that would be me, and it would be the perfect time to deliver the career help I promised, but I’ve got to get to my lying-down desk. New Year’s Day is past, and I have still haven’t met my 2017 quota for napping.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at email@example.com.