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10 New Year's Resolutions For IT Pros

It's time again for New Year's resolutions. Here are 10 ideas for how you can live a happier life and have a better career in the coming year.
11 Things Computer Users Will Never Experience Again
11 Things Computer Users Will Never Experience Again
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Every year, many Americans make a New Year's resolution. Chances are, IT Pros are among them. But just like everyone else, you are probably making resolutions to lose weight or work out more. Those are great, but I've also got some suggestions for resolutions that are maybe a little more fitting for an IT pro.

I've got a mix of ideas that I think will make you happier, better at your job, and help you advance your career. Of course, I'm not expecting you to make all 10, but a few of these really ought to be in your plan for the New Year. Take a look at the list:

10 New Year's Resolutions For IT Pros

1. Dust off your resume. Even if you are happy at your job, looking for a new job is good practice to keep your interview skills sharp for when you do want to leave. It also helps you get an idea of what skills are in demand so you can increase your skillset. Plus, this is a surprisingly good time to look for a job.

[ And consider these career resolutions. Read 6 IT Career Resolutions. ]

2. Say "thank you" and mean it. According to this article by Dr. Christine Carter of the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, "thank you" can be very powerful. "My favorite happiness booster," writes Carter, "is to give thanks: to a higher power for the abundance that surrounds me; to my dad for taking my kids to ice cream; to my husband for all the ways he makes me giggle." And really, who wouldn't rather work in a place where truly appreciating each other is the norm? Start a wave of gratitude and appreciation yourself.

3. Go to the bathroom. A recent survey of 617 adults working at companies of 500 employees or more conducted by Workfront and Harris Poll showed that 52% of those taking the survey had delayed going to the bathroom in order to make a deadline. And among those respondents, 21% said they did so five times per week or more. This simply does not seem like a happy job situation. The company's stock really won't go down if you take time out to tinkle.

4. Kill something every day. Virtually. Please only kill virtually, but do it. Video gaming can reduce stress. And sometimes getting your frustrations out on virtual people is so much better than yelling at your co-workers. Of course, if killing isn't your thing you can always try crushing some candy or something. But I just think Stormtroopers die in a more stress-reducing way than candy.

5. Treat Gen Z, those born between 1994 and 2010, better than you treat Millennials. All the fuss about Millennials is about to go away, because believe it or not, next year, a new generation enters the workforce. We don't have a name better than Gen Z yet (though MTV is trying "Founders"). The oldest Gen Z folks are seniors in college. You have just a few months to resolve to tolerate them before they invade.

6. Be a maker. 3D printing, a changing economy toward open source and algorithms, and a number of other factors seem to be pointing to a maker economy. Nothing is more suited to the IT pro than this. It is literally the way Silicon Valley was founded -- in a few garages where geeks toiled away on big dreams.

7. Learn to love robots. Gartner predicted 3 million people will be managed by a robot or AI by 2020. Gartner may or may not be right about the timing, but this is happening. Learn to welcome our new robot overlords.

8. Try to feel like this rabbit. Try it. At least once per week. You deserve it.

9. Stop living life through your phone screen. Obviously, this is cultural thing, and to a certain degree, an age thing. But nothing saddens me more than going to a live concert or event and watching most of the crowd holding up their phone through the whole thing. You are there. You paid a lot of money to be there. The event is always available later on YouTube. Some fool other than you will record it. Be the guy who sees it in real life first and let some other fool make a small screen copy for you to see later.

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10. Learn an old programming language. Try Cobol. Or another language, even if you are 20. Having knowledge of an older language can sometimes be very lucrative. More importantly, getting in touch with the roots of your profession is never a bad thing. Imagine if you designed cars for a living, but you had never seen a Model T or a '57 Chevy. Would you be better or worse at your job?

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