Losing weight or getting more exercise are common New Year's resolutions, but most of us spend at least eight hours a day working, so why not focus attention there, too?

Paula Bradison, CEO of Alaska Executive Search, says it's common practice for business managers to meet at year-end to strategically plan goals for the next. It's a habit she advises clients adopt for themselves, regardless of their position within a company. 

As part of Daybreak's Workforce Wednesday, Bradison shared her tips for advancing your career and increasing wellness in the workplace. 

Revisit your resume, and often

"Typically people wait until they need a job to put a resume together," Bradison said. "I think it's an ongoing process where we should be re-evaluating and looking at our resume."

Even if you aren't looking to change jobs, Bradison says a resume refresh can help you move up in the position you already have.

"It also can garner the opportunity of reviewing that right before your review, so that you can represent yourself," she said. "As much as your employer is telling you what you've brought to the job, you're ready with your response."

Write down your goals

By recording our goals, even small ones, and checking in periodically, Bradison said people can often see they've made more progress than they realized.

"12 months from now, we review that New Year's resolution and we see we did one thing better or differently, or we're one percent better at whatever we're trying to achieve than we were the year before, that's success," she said. 

Take active breaks

Whether it's vowing to take the stairs every day, or building in stretch breaks, Bradison said physical activity is key to keeping focus.

"Just physically standing up, and changing your perspective, helps you reduce stress, increases engagement, increases productivity. There's all kinds of data for that," she said. 

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends workers there take a five- to 10-minute break every hour. It even provides instruction on some common stretches to do during that time.

Find a mentor

If there's someone in your industry who's already achieved some of your goals, Bradison said you shouldn't be afraid to ask them to be your mentor. She recommends clearly outlining what you'd like out of the professional relationship.

Bradison said just offering to grab a coffee with that person can help you figure out if they're the right mentor for you. She said she almost never sees a person decline a mentorship.


Volunteerism can reap rewards both personally and professionally. Bradison calls it a tool for sharpening or strengthening skills we may be feeling insecure about at work.

She said sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone will allow you the opportunity to learn new skills that bring value.

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