20 Career Tips To Help You Get Ahead In 2020

Hot desks and an emphasis on wellbeing are just some of the key trends that have defined the way we work now, says NZ Herald Job Market reporter Kirsty Wynn

We can hot desk and work remotely. Photo / Babiche Martens

The walls of the office have come down. We sit alongside bosses in open planned environments with shared spaces and technology means we have computers in our back pockets; good ideas are developed outside the office now. 

We hot desk and work remotely. We can work anywhere there is a laptop, Wi-Fi, and a cell phone. 

We are increasingly inclusive and diverse. More companies are signing up for the Accessibility Tick, the Gender Tick, and Rainbow Tick. Socially conscious Gen Z are entering the workforce and pushing environmental concerns to the forefront. 

READ: 9 Ways To Beat The Back-To-Work Blues

The four-day working week is gaining traction around the world with studies now emerging showing that people are just as productive over four days than five days. 

Wellness and mental health at work is the 'new bonus' says Simon Rooney from Find Recruitment.

Companies are offering benefits such as additional leave, birthdays off work, gym memberships, and higher Kiwisaver contributions. 

What we might expect for the future: 

  • The robots are coming — but it's all good says Pete Thomson from Find Recruitment. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will make work-life easier by taking away the mundane work. 
  • More data will be collected from our day-to-day lives, and jobs will dramatically transform, making skills such as data analytics, one of the key skills to learn in 2020 says Shannon Barlow from recruitment agency People2People.  
  • Climate change will continue to influence not only the way we produce and provide services but also the way we work.
  • Workplaces with no printers, no car parks, and no pool cars will become commonplace. Uber will become the norm. 
  • We will close the gap. Women in New Zealand are paid on average 11.9 per cent less than men. Flexible and remote working is expected to help close this.
  • YWCA’s Gender Tick is expected to become more widespread.  

The Office showcased the do's and dont's around office politics. Photo / Supplied

20 TIPS FOR 2020 
The world is changing at a rapid pace and the workplace is a driving force for that change. What can you do to keep up with change and make 2020 a positive place for yourself and those around you? Here are 20 tips to make 2020 work for you.  

1. Write it down
Set yourself specific short term goals to get started. Want to move up the ladder in your current workplace? Brainstorm realistic ways to do it.

Want a new job? Jot down companies you would like to work for and start your research. Keep the list handy, edit when necessary and refer back. 

2. Be flexible
Simon Rooney from Find Recruitment has seen a steady march toward a more inclusive, flexible working environment and says it will continue.

If you get the opportunity to work a four-day week or work remotely then make it work.Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things and put yourself out of your comfort zone a little each day. 

3. Learn to disconnect
In today’s world, we get very easily distracted, and a task that requires 15 minutes could end up taking more than an hour. Shannon Barlow of People2People recruitment suggests putting up a do not disturb sign, setting a timer and completing a block of work.  

4. Ask for constructive feedback 
Feedback is essential to growing personally and professionally. We tend to schedule regular catch-ups and then cancel for the sake of ‘getting the work done’. Stick to them.  

5. Don’t be scared of failure
Get out of your comfort zone. Playing it safe at work will prevent you from accomplishing great things; it’s what you learn from mistakes that make your successes richer and sweeter.  

6. Learn a new skill
Aim to learn one new skill, put your hand up to try new ideas, and take any opportunity your career will bring.   

7. Keep up with technology
Take every opportunity to learn the latest tech at work especially from those younger than you. Remember, in the next 10 years the young teens of today will be entering the workforce — we will all need to keep up with them.  

8. Get to know all your colleagues
Every single person in your team and your company has and knows something that you don’t. You can learn from everyone.   

9. Clean up your act
Clear the clutter and let your creativity flow. Having a tidy desk with what you need on hand rally can help you get things done. 

10. Look after yourself
We spend a third of our lives at work so make 2020 the year you make great healthy choices.

Keep hydrated and have healthy snacks at hand to keep the vending machine at bay. 

WATCH: Your Next Job Is One Conversation Away 

11. Are you OK?
It’s also OK to not be OK. You don’t have to have all the answers, just be there to listen or even better to point in the right direction for help. 


12. Do they have the tick?
Working for a company that aligns with your ideals can make a difference to your workday.

If having the Rainbow Tick, the Gender Tick or a great Wellness policy matters to you then check it out or speak up.   

13. Reach out
Speak to your friends and professional network. Pete Thompson at Find Recruitment says having someone on the inside to sing your praises to their company increases your chances of getting a promotion/career. 

14. Ask at work
See if your current employer is open to you being ‘redeployed’ within the organisation.

Moving within a company can be a good move for everyone and a change is as good as a rest. 

READ: Karen Walker's Business Tips

15. Aim at the right level
Just because you were senior in the past doesn’t make you a senior in your new career. Unless you have some seriously great transferable skills, be open to starting at the bottom. 

16. Clean up social media
Your online profile matters. Get a professional to help with your LinkedIn profile and tidy up any social media that makes you look unprofessional. 

17. Have a portfolio
If you’re looking at getting into a creative role, have a portfolio. Even if it’s your own collection of private projects. Have something in there that will wow the hiring manager. 


18. Get schooled
Natalie Richards from successful plant-based meal service Prep says a regular business coach can give valuable advice from an over-all plan to how to price goods and service. 

19. Use social media
Facebook and Instagram can be your friend. Take great photos, use the boosted post options and get your name out there. 

20. Be money savvy
If you have a great idea and product, balance this by learning to balance the books as well.

Sarah Frizzell from The Lucky Taco says the key for small business survival is knowing exactly where each dollar and cent is going — don’t leave it to someone else.  

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