New Year's Resolutions for Young Professionals

New Year's Resolutions for Young Professionals

Welcome to 2018 with Engage! Cleveland. Our resolution for this year is simple - to continue to bring the young professional community of Cleveland more exciting, meaningful programming and resources to introduce them to Greater Cleveland and deepen their connection to the area. We are here to show you the depth and breadth of opportunities available to live, work and play in Cleveland.

As a young professional, you likely have your own collection of New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is a personal resolution to make it to the gym more often, or a more professional goal such as advancing your career, there is probably a target you hope to hit in 2018. However, if you are drawing a blank, or just need a few more ideas to add to your list, we have a few specific New Year’s resolutions for young professionals that you may want to consider.

Get involved Whether it’s with your employer, your community, or another organization about which you feel passionate, make it a 2018 goal to deepen your involvement and do some volunteer work. There is a link between volunteering and your health, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the outcome of your volunteer work can help improve a community’s or individual’s life. Plus, it will help you expand your network and become exposed to new opportunities you may not have known about previously.Engage! Cleveland is a great resource for involvement opportunities in the Greater Cleveland area.

Give networking a chance While they understand that it is vital, many young professionals get nervous or unsure about networking. Whether they feel uncomfortable about talking to new people or don’t know what to discuss, networking can be daunting! Make it a goal for 2018 to try to network at least once. It doesn’t have to be at a large networking event, either. Find someone in a career or field that holds your interest, and reach out to see if they want to have coffee to talk about their work. Networking is less scary-sounding if you view it as a conversation with someone sharing your interests. If you’d rather network in a group setting, look around for various networking events hosted by local young professional groups or organizations. Engage! Cleveland is a great place to start your search! A perfect event to get started is our upcoming Lunch with Leaders event on Friday, February 23. You’ll be seated with one leader and eight other young professionals for a small group conversation. 

Follow up on that great conversation Maybe this is a continuation of your networking experiment, or a stand-alone resolution, but don’t let connections fade just because your conversation or meeting is over. If you had a great lunch with a new colleague, or met an interesting individual at an event whose career you find intriguing, follow up! Send an email shortly after your meeting, or give them a call to let them know you enjoyed your meeting and look forward to continuing conversations. Who knows where this new connection could lead?

Unplug every day As young professionals, we are often tied to our devices at all hours. We can get our email pushed to our phones, and our work is more portable than ever. Because of this constant connection, it’s important to unplug for at least a little bit every day to give yourself time to reconnect with your family, friends, and life outside of work. While it may not be possible to totally disconnect once your work day is done (deadlines and urgent requests happen!), try to give yourself at least an hour every night when you aren’t answering emails or checking your phone.

New year, new job Have you been unhappy in your current position, or know that there is something out there that is a better fit? Make 2018 the year of finding that new job! First, make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are updated and reflect the opportunities for which you are looking. Think about what you like and dislike in your current position, and make a list of what you are looking for in your perfect job. Research companies and job openings that seem like they may be a good fit, and get applying! If you find a company you love that doesn’t appear to be hiring, reach out to their HR department to see if they may have opportunities for contract work or even volunteer opportunities to get your foot in the door. Visit the Engage! Cleveland Job Board to start looking at openings in the Greater Cleveland area.

Learn something new Whether it is learning a new language, skill, or new information about Cleveland, make 2018 the year you complete that goal. Take a foreign language class, try a new workout at your gym, or check out an Engage! Cleveland event with a local business in which you’ve been interested. You’ll feel fulfilled and knowledgeable with your new skill or nugget of information!

What other resolutions are you planning to make for the new year? We would love to hear them! Join us on Twitter and tell us. 


Laurel Wilder is the Marketing and Communications Manager at College Now Greater Cleveland, the oldest and one of the largest college access organizations in the nation. A member of Engage! Cleveland's Leadership Council, Laurel also blogs for Ballet in the City, where she serves on the organization's Auxiliary Board, and previously wrote for the Cleveland Indians-focused blog Did The Tribe Win Last Night.