If there are certain career goals, changes or upgrades you’re looking to make, this is the time to resolve to do it. Whether it’s finally getting that promotion you deserve, or locking in the work-from home arrangement you proposed to your boss, here’s how to make it happen in 2023.
Given today’s unstable job market and instability, especially in the tech sector, “prepare to prove you’re raise-worthy,” said Ciara O’Sullivan, director of people at Bilt Rewards, a loyalty program for renters in New York City.
Before you even broach the conversation with your boss, however, take a tip from O’Sullivan and look up a comparable role at another company. Thanks to New York City’s new Salary Transparency Law, all businesses must now list good faith salary ranges for jobs, promotions or transfer positions.
You should also look at your company’s earnings reports and year-end forecasting from your CEO to see how the company is faring. “It’s ideal if you can share that your No. 1 competitor is paying $20,000 more for your exact job,” O’Sullivan said. “Next, you want to share all that you’ve done since last January, whether it was working on 10 projects or building X number of budgets. Being able to quantify your contributions is crucial.”
Making a major career change will likely take several months of discovery, where you take the time to figure out what you want to do next and how you’re going to get there.
“Start by zeroing in on the part of your job you enjoy most,” said Annie Rosencrans, people and culture director at HiBob, a human resources tech platform. “Then you can extend out to think about the type of work you want to be doing.”
Once you’ve figured that out and understand what’s involved — including whether you need training — begin networking via LinkedIn and invite anyone in your desired career path for lunch or coffee.
Keep in mind that you need to be fiscally prudent when changing course. “Switching careers is risky,” Rosencrans said. “You should always have your finances in order during those months you’re searching and be sure you can afford to take this pause and switch gears.”
If you want to keep your WFH setup going, communication is key. “Talk to your manager early and often, and keep that person in the loop about what you’re thinking and feeling,” O’Sullivan said. “If you want to continue working from home, share the reason, whether it’s that you’re more productive, you have kids to pick up from school or you’re taking care of a sick parent.”
Maybe you simply like working in silence and the office is too loud. “Again, you want to be in ‘proving it’ mode,” O’Sullivan said. “If you’re working an extra two hours because you’re not commuting from Long Island to Manhattan, say so. If you’re most productive from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. after you put your kids to sleep, explain that, and if you can take conference calls at 5:30 p.m. because you don’t have to pick up your child from daycare, share that, too.”
It’s unlikely your boss will look askance if you want to learn more skills or review existing skills to make sure you’re up to date, O’Sullivan said. Consider signing up for a free LinkedIn Learning course, listening to a leadership podcast or even tapping into TikTok for career-coaching and leadership skill videos.
If you’re interested in taking a course that comes with a fee, communicate your interest with your boss. “Say something like, ‘I found this training and I know it will benefit our team in the following ways,’ then ask if there might be a budget available for, say, an Adobe course.”
Just don’t make your manager find courses for you. “They’re already very busy,” O’Sullivan said. “This is a good opportunity for you to show the initiative.”
First off, you aren’t required to tell anyone at work that you’re planning on having a child.
“Hopefully you work at a company where starting a family is celebrated and not used against you, since that’s illegal,” Rosencrans said. “Also, it’s illegal — it’s retaliation — if your promotion or pay raise is affected by you having a child.”
That said, if you’re in baby mode, right now is the perfect time to be proactive about your schedule. “For example, if you’re working late into the evening, this won’t be sustainable with a newborn,” Rosencrans said. “Think about good practices you can implement to ensure that you don’t have to completely shift your work schedule once the baby arrives.”