New Year’s work resolutions—what tops the list for today’s professionals?

by | Jan 8, 2020 | Public Relations

It’s a new year, and many have new personal—and professional—goals. A new Korn Ferry survey reveals one resolution that tops the New Year’s wish list for professionals—and it’s more desired than a promotion, more pay and better work-life balance combined.

Nearly half of the respondents (41 percent) say creating an impact/making a difference is their leading work resolution for 2020. This resolution far exceeds a raise (8 percent), promotion (5 percent), a better work-life balance (8 percent) and even getting a new job (31 percent).

But achieving that resolution may be difficult

Creating an impact/making a difference ties with getting a promotion (24 percent) as the hardest New Year’s resolutions to attain.

The top reason professionals would look for a new job in 2020, according to the survey, is that their employers’ culture doesn’t fit with their values (38 percent), followed by being bored and needing a new challenge (23 percent).

When asked which New Year’s work resolution would most improve their opportunity to advance at their current employer, the largest percentage (28 percent) say getting assigned to more challenging, high-profile projects, followed by gaining more professional development opportunities (22 percent).

“A lot is being written about change-weary professionals constantly navigating through bewildering complexity. This survey clearly shows that many professionals are not only up for a challenge, but value it as a way to demonstrate they are making a difference in the world,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry Global Solution Leader, Leadership Development, in a news release. “In fact, above pay and promotion, you see professionals exhibiting a growth mindset, seeking to learn and grow.”

The good news: 93 percent of professionals say they would be able to keep a New Year’s work resolution if they made one.

The Korn Ferry survey of professionals took place in December 2019 and garnered 645 responses. (Due to rounding, responses may not equal 100 percent).

Survey responses:

What would you put on the top of your New Year’s work resolution wish list?

  • Get a raise (8 percent)
  • Get a promotion (5 percent)
  • Get a new job (31 percent)
  • Better work-life balance (8 percent)
  • Create a greater impact/make a difference (41 percent)
  • Learn more (7 percent)             

What would be the hardest New Year’s resolution to achieve?

  • Get a raise (19 percent)
  • Get a promotion (24 percent)
  • Better work-life balance (20 percent)
  • Get along better with my boss/co-workers (7 percent)
  • Create a greater impact/make a difference (24 percent)
  • Learn more (6 percent)

If you plan to look for a new job in 2020, what is the top reason?

  • I’m bored, need a new challenge (23 percent)
  • Culture doesn’t fit with my values (38 percent)
  • I have either lost my job or expect to lose my job (13 percent)
  • Higher salary (17 percent)
  • Bigger title (5 percent)
  • My boss (4 percent)

Which New Year’s work resolution would most improve your opportunity to advance at your current employer?

  • More professional development opportunities (22 percent)
  • Get a work mentor (7 percent)
  • Get a career coach (7 percent)
  • Secure an opportunity in another area of my company (15 percent)
  • Get assigned to more challenging, high-profile projects (28 percent)
  • Get a different boss (19 percent)
  • Take an oversees assignment (1 percent)

Are you planning on asking for a raise in 2020?

  • Yes (57 percent)
  • No (43 percent)

If you are not planning on asking for a raise in 2020, what is the top reason?

  • I’m afraid I’ll get turned down/awkward (11 percent)
  • I don’t know how (7 percent)
  • I don’t think I deserve it (5 percent)
  • I just got one (27 percent)
  • My company rarely gives raises (45 percent)
  • More money will require more work from me (5 percent)

If you made a work-related New Year’s resolution, would you be able to keep it?

  • Yes (93 percent)
  • No (7 percent)

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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