Is 2014 the year you finally sort out your work situation, or is it the year you've planned to actually make a decision about your future? Whatever it is, we've got three resolutions that can super-charge your career prospects.
Resolution One: I Will Stop Putting Things Off
There's no getting around it: making decisions is difficult. You've got all that thinking about the options, then you've got the hassle of comparing them, then finally there's the nerve-shredding bit where you opt for one of them - and the ever-present fear of what happens if you choose the wrong thing! We get it. But let's just take a step back and see what the alternative is.
If you don't make a decision - for argument's sake let's say it's a decision about what you're going to do when you leave school or college. You're actually not escaping the moment, you're really just putting extra pressure on yourself further down the line. You could leave it until five minutes from the UCAS deadline and then just toss a coin to decide the sort of course you're going to do (unbelievably this DOES HAPPEN!) but that's terrifying, isn't it? That won't be you, will it?
Don't be that person. Instead, write out a list. All of the things you could possibly do. Ask your friends what they're doing, ask your parents what they think, ask your teachers what they'd look at, ask us! Then start to sketch out what you think of each of those options. What are the good things, what are the bad. Make it a bit neater - put them all in a table so you can see your options side-by-side. Then make a choice. Try it on for size. Tell people that's what you're doing and see if it sits right with you. If it does - put everything you have into making it work. If it still feels uneasy - go back to your table, what other things did you realise as you let it stew?
Resolution Two: I Will Consider A Research And Development Year
We don't really like the term gap yearas it makes the whole experience sound a bit negative (where else is a gap a good thing?); we prefer the term research and development year. For one thing it makes the whole experience an easier sell to your parents. They hear research and development and imagine you looking at beakers of coloured liquids in an expensive-looking lab, they hear gap year they think mushroom shakes on a Thai beach. Which one will they help you pay for?
So why do we want you to at least consider a Research and Development year? Well, we're not stupid. We know that resolution number one might not happen. In which case it means that you're going to approach decision time with no real information to help you make that choice. The chances are in that situation that you will go with the numbers. It's cool, it's natural selection - there's safety in numbers. However, that may well mean you end up at university doing something that you're not passionate or committed to. In which case you've just spent £53,000 on a gamble. No one (Tony Stark aside) should ever do that.
We think you should do yourself a favour and think about taking a research and development year to, well, research your options and develop yourself. What have you got to lose?
Resolution Three: I Will Let Not Going to Uni Help Me
If you're reading this and you aren't already registered with us, take the 20 seconds you need to register and get it done. Why? Because we are not a website. We are a well-honed careers-support machine. We have spent years creating a site that can take your vague ideas about what you want to do and focused it so that it brings you opportunities (jobs, training, gap years, whatever you want...) straight to you. You'll get news that's relevant, ideas about how to develop faster than your competition - and let's make no mistakes the rest of the people in your school year are most definitely your competition - and all of it will be tailored to what you want to do. It's absurdly good and, because we need to get rid of some bad karma, it's totally free.
Every week we get emails from people thanking us for getting them a job or an apprenticeship. We want the next one of those to be from you.
2014 is your year, time to smash it.