As 2011 comes to an end, this is a great time to reflect on your successes and evaluate your professional and career goals. Oftentimes we end up being so busy during the year that we move from one project to the next without truly taking time to acknowledge all that we have done. However, it is important that you take time to identify your accomplishments and determine where you hope to go in the year ahead.
Start by listing some of the things you accomplished this year. You may find it helpful to review your computer for documents, reports, and e-mails from clients and superiors. Consider creating a portfolio to track and manage your success. Analyze your experiences and focus on identifying five to 10 accomplishments you are really proud of. Reflecting on your personal and career successes can help supply the motivation you need to continue your success throughout 2012.
Then take time to identify what you hope to accomplish in the coming year. While it is easy to think of big, longer-term goals, starting off with something small and attainable will allow you to achieve success. Write down your goals and keep the list in a place where you will frequently see it. Having a constant reminder of your goals will help to make it a top priority in your daily work.
This is also a great time to update your resume. Even if you are not actively seeking a new position it is always wise to have your resume updated and ready to share. Focus on your accomplishments and the skills you have demonstrated rather than a simple listing of your job duties. Use the success list you created to get started.
While it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of your job, make sure to dedicate time to keeping abreast of changes in your field and current events. Consider subscribing to online news feeds or setting your favorite news or industry site as your home page. Simple steps can help you stay on top of new information.
Continue to spend time nurturing and building your professional network. Send out a holiday or New Year’s greeting card as a natural way to stay in touch. Commit to having lunch with someone new each month or joining a business-networking group in your community. Focusing your energy on supporting and building your network as a foundation for success in the coming year.
Take time for you. The most successful professionals are able to find ways to create balance between work and home. The better you take care of yourself the better you will be able to perform at work and at home. It is crucial to take time for things you truly enjoy. If there is a slow time during the year, plan now for a short vacation or trip. Taking care of yourself is the key to attaining success.
No matter what you resolve to work on, find someone who will support your goals. If you do not already have a trusted adviser, you may want to consider finding an experienced professional to provide you with the guidance and motivation necessary to make 2012 your year of career success.
Best wishes for a successful New Year!
Katrina Davy, M.A., Ed.M. is a Santa Monica-based professional career counselor who holds degrees from Cornell and Columbia universities. Visit her online at www.kdcareer.com. Got something on your mind? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All questions will be kept anonymous; let us help you with your life matters!