Three Resolutions To Enhance Your Career In 2019

Bertram Schulte

Winter is here, and that means sipping hot cocoa if you’re lucky, shoveling snow if you’re unlucky, and, of course, working toward your list of personal and professional goals. But according to a 2015 U.S. News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the start of February. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually have a few obtainable resolutions before we get much further into the year? If you adopt these three digital-minded resolutions, you’ll be well on your way to a happier, more rewarding 2019.

Resolution #1: Improve digital skills

You may be surprised to learn that the way to improve your digital skills is rather cultural, not technical. Why? Culture is sustainable and adaptable, while technology quickly becomes outdated. To get ahead – and stay ahead – of the competition, employees should resolve to improve their soft skills. These soft skills include:

  • Thoughtful disruption. Speak up, ask questions, push the envelope – but do it with respect. Be polite but have an edge.
  • Flexible mind. Instead of giving up when you hit a roadblock, think of a workaround. Keep the big picture in mind and think to yourself: “What do I actually want to achieve?” Don’t get lost in short-term objectives and lose sight of the big picture.
  • A customer-first mindsetThe customer’s needs always come first. At SAP, this means customers should not have to search multiple websites to purchase and try our solutions. To deliver the best possible customer experience, we’ve taken the first important steps to do this with SAP.com.
  • A passion for digital transformation. True digital transformation needs to be designed to disappear. This means the transformation must significantly change the object, yet feel like it’s always been there. It must make an impact, without significantly changing the solution. The transformation must feel seamless.

You shouldn’t ignore the technical requirements of your job, of course. A certain baseline technical proficiency is needed – and even critical for career success. But it can’t be the only thing, and that’s why these soft skills are so important.

Resolution #2: Work/life balance

A winning work/life balance is cliché, yet true nonetheless. For me, no two days are alike, but you always can be busy. Running SAP’s digital business and helping provide customers with one seamless, digital commercial experience is about marketing, sales, finance, product development, commercial models, and business operations. But most of the time, it’s a mix of everything. You can get lost between all the different angles and things that need to be done.

And that is one of the biggest risks. Only if you take good care for yourself can you take care of your responsibilities, your customer, your sales deal, or your product delivery. One thing competitive cycling has taught me is that if you pace yourself on a constant power level (high, but not extreme), you can achieve loftier goals. Also here, peaks are no substitute for consistent (but moderate) training sessions. Frequency over intensity. So, if you want to be your best, take good care of your body and soul, so you can look with fresh eyes and an open mind at whatever you want to achieve – and get it done.

Resolution #3: Collaborate to win

No matter the size of your company, it’s important to collaborate with teams outside your immediate division. This is true if you work for a 95,000+ employee behemoth like SAP or a lean startup with a dozen employees. Interacting with new teams means new ideas are generated and new ways of thinking materialize. Partnering with other teams also banks goodwill equity for future projects down the road. And usually, it is more fun as well.

So, while I can’t promise that new gym membership will be worth it or your new hobby will last, I can attest that if you stick with these three digital resolutions, you’ll be on your way to a more fulfilling 2019 and overall career.

For more career-enhancing advice, see Resolution 2019: Develop The Growth Mindset Of A Lifelong Learner.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and is republished by permission.


Bertram Schulte

About Bertram Schulte

Bertram Schulte serves as SAP’s chief digital officer (CDO), running the digital business, overseeing digital customer strategy, and helping provide customers one seamless, digital experience.