Good New Year’s Resolutions for Commodity Traders


New year’s resolutions can get a bad rap. For many, they’re a spur-of-the-moment, last-minute decision without much thought or determination behind them. In fact, a lot of them don’t tend to make it past January. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Good new year’s resolutions aren’t just random, they’re a strategic way to improve a specific part of your life. And if what you want to improve is your work life or career path, the right professional resolutions can set you up for a big batch of success. Because everyone has different goals and different needs, there’s no one resolution that will work for everyone. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of good new year’s resolutions for commodity traders, which we believe will help you take some real strides in 2023 and beyond.

Develop Your Soft Skills

When you’re new to a job, it can be easy to focus on tasks rather than technique. And once you’ve been in a job for a long time, it’s easy to become complacent. Wherever you are in your career, one of our favorite news year’s resolutions for work is to spend some time developing your soft skills. Maybe you’ve had a rough year and your confidence has taken a dip. Maybe you find yourself struggling with communication. Maybe your time management skills are making it so you have to stay late at the office. Focus on one soft skill you could strengthen to improve your career and then commit to working on it throughout the year. Not sure which to choose? Check out our blog about important soft skills every commodity trader needs to succeed for some inspiration.

Dedicate Time to Career Mentorship

When it comes to new year professional resolutions, you can’t go wrong with dedicating time to career mentorship. There’s a reason AIFP is so committed to fostering a community of mentorship for our rookie traders. Not only does it help the young commodity traders learn the tricks of the trade, but it can even help more experienced traders reflect on their success. The right mentorship can have unparalleled effects on your career path, making you a better trader, a better-informed employee, and potentially even a better person.

Reflect Every Month

Journaling comes up often on lists of potential new year’s resolutions, and for good reason. Journaling has been shown to have all sorts of great mental health benefits that reverberate through all parts of life. Since this is a list of new year’s resolutions for work, we want to hone-in on a specific type of journaling: weekly or monthly reflections. For many, journaling can feel too abstract and open-ended. But if you have a clear purpose, it can make things easier. We recommend checking in at least weekly and reflecting on work. What’s going well? What could be going better? Pay special attention to patterns that can help you in the future. If you’re noticing, for example, that you get less work done during weeks when you have morning meetings, you can experiment with “meeting free” times. You’ll be surprised how much these discoveries can transform your workday.

Take Your Lunch Break

Especially when things are busy at work, it can feel like you need to utilize every single moment you can try to get things done. So, you may be surprised to hear that taking your lunch break is on our list of favorite new year professional resolutions. Before you bring your sandwich over to your desk to eat and work, make sure you’re aware of the growing evidence that multitasking doesn’t work and that taking breaks actually makes employees more productive, not less. While productivity is great, overworked employees can quickly fall into burnout, which affects the quality of your work and the quality of your life.

Find A New Industry Resource to Follow

When it comes to commodity trading, you have to be incredibly tuned-in to industry news in order to thrive at your job. While you likely already have favorite resources you consume every week, it may be time to refresh your list. Looking for ideas? Our very own Justin Binning and Ken Timmins host the Lumber Connection podcast, which focuses on the latest trends in North American Lumber Markets. Whether it’s a podcast, a newsletter, or a publication, keeping up with industry insights will help you thrive in your commodity trading career.

Review and Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

When you’re making your new year’s resolutions for 2023, you might want to add “Review and Improve Your LinkedIn Profile” to the list. While you may think your LinkedIn profile only matters if you’re looking for a job, when you work in B2B sales, you’ll find that many clients look to your profile for first impressions. That’s why it’s so important to make sure it’s regularly updated. If, for example, you’ve had a recent “win” at work or gotten a new certification, your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to showcase it. You can also spend some time reviewing your colleagues’ profiles to find ways in which you might improve your own and put your best self forward.

Clean Out Your Email Inbox

As time goes by, your email inbox can become a stress-inducing place. In fact, many people haven’t seen a zero-message inbox since their first day with the company. That’s why one of our favorite professional resolutions is cleaning out your email inbox. This doesn’t just mean trying to get your inbox to zero for a day but trying to find ways to manage your inbox over the whole year. First, try unsubscribing to anything you no longer need. This will help keep your inbox from filling up too fast. You can also create email rules that will help you manage your inbox. If, for example, you have industry newsletters that you only look at once a week, you can create a special rule to move those to a folder so they’re not clogging up your inbox on days when you aren’t planning to read them.

Improve Your Work Life Balance

While commodity trading can be incredibly rewarding and profitable, it’s isn’t always easy. Like any challenging job, it can be a struggle to figure out how to adequately meet all of the demands of your career and your personal life. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all way to improve your work-life balance, you’ll have to do a little work to figure out what form this will take on your professional new year’s resolutions list. Need some ideas for how to get started? These tips for finding work-life balance as a commodity trader can provide some inspiration for concrete ways you can improve in 2023.

Looking for great sales jobs in Portland where you can put these professional resolutions to the test? Look no further than AIFP. Not only do we have a one-of-a-kind apprenticeship program perfect for recent grads and career changers, but we work hard to create a company culture that celebrates hard work while still encouraging fun. Apply today to experience one of the best places to work in Portland. In the meantime, check out the AIFP blog where we cover everything from how to make the most of your apprenticeship program to how to thrive in a commission-based job.

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