New Year career tune-up tips
The New Year is a great time to review the work you’ve done and set goals for the work you want to do. In this case I’m not talking about performance at work, but rather your career as a whole. There are some traditions you can put in place to help guide you and your professional direction – so maybe you’ll catch yourself before you get off course – little corrections are much easier than complete pivots.
Here are some tips and activities to introduce into your New Year’s traditions:
1. Make a list of the stuff you ROCKED at! We all get down in our own weeds during the year and let our accomplishments go un-celebrated and largely un-recognized. Take time to WRITE DOWN the list of things you conquered, ace-d, blew away, resolved, completed or otherwise ROCKED – this list will also prove useful during your performance review – and when you update your resume (see item 3).
2. Make a list of the stuff you ended up doing that you didn’t enjoy – and why. I definitely don’t like to dwell on the stuff I don’t enjoy – or the stuff I’m not good at – BUT I think it’s important to record some of them so that you don’t fall into the “history repeating itself” trap. I talk with dozens of professionals every year who don’t enjoy their job – and it’s because they consistently end up in roles that don’t leverage their strengths – it’s like trying to push slime up a mountain.
3. Update your resume. This won’t be your favorite tradition – but it will serve you well for those times when the recruiter calls and wants to talk about a career move. If you take the time to do step 1 and 2 first, then this step will only take about 20 minutes. Trust me – I did it yesterday!
4. Write down 3 things you want to do for your career this year. These items are for you – and maybe your mentor’s eyes only. These are your wishes and dreams – the things that will make a positive difference in your career when you accomplish them. Maybe it’s a class, a degree, a conference, a new leadership skill, a big dollar sale – do this – for yourself!
5. Assess your current position. Is your current role satisfying? If you are in this same position next January will you be happy about it? On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you “heart” your job? If it’s not at least a 9– what needs to change? Of the things that need to change – which can you control? This tradition may produce an action plan – keep reading
6. Make a mental commitment. Steps 1 – 5 gave you the opportunity to really review, assess and plan for the coming year. Now that you’ve completed these steps make a mental commitment to yourself to change the things you noted, improve where you want to, ROCK more and as a result BE more satisfied in your career. Then, when that AWESOME position comes up – or when the recruiter calls – you won’t miss the opportunity because you were “too busy.”
7. Be OK with asking for help. Out here in the Wild West – where most of us came from that Midwest upbringing, we think that if we ask for help we either “bother someone with our issues” or “look like we are weak.” This author suffers from the same afflictions. Get over it! People like to help others – all you have to do is ask. If you want help with your resume, ask for it! If you want an accountability partner for your career – reach out to a colleague who you admire and respect. If you want some professional development – ask your manager! What’s the worst that can happen?
This article comes from my heart and from some recent activities in my house. My son has been doing a job search and career pivot lately, my daughter is looking for her first post graduate position in child therapy and my step-daughter is looking for a new job closer to home. It occurred to me that you might also benefit from some New Year’s traditions. To Your Success!
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