It’s 2012, a New Year and time to consider personal goals and changes in your life to make now, so life is better this year than it was last. Let’s leave the personal up to your own devices and plans, but for those of you interested in changing your job or advancing your career, here are 5 ‘simple’ career resolutions to consider. Hope they help.
Set a career goal: Good chance you have one in place already, but I get surprised daily talking to people at all levels of the workforce who, when asked the question, have no idea. They are floating, blown by the winds of others and with no sight on controlling their career future. After what some people have been through (or are still going through) it’s tough to blame one for being gun shy when asked to control their career, but it is still done and most important be done by you. So step up and set a career goal. One that is achievable but is also a stretch.
Commit to what must be accomplished at work: Now it gets a little easier or scarier, whatever your case may be, so write down the things that must be down in order to accomplish the goal. Don’t know? No problem, talk to a supervisor, HR or the President of the company. Let someone know what you are planning to achieve and ask what needs to be done. If you don’t get a clear answer, keep asking. At some point you will find out what you need to do and have likely let those who need to know what your plans are. Now it’s time to step up and just do it.
Decide “5 things to learn this year”that will move your career forward. As you let others know your plans and you ask what needs to be done, you will find out areas of deficiency that need to be addressed. These could include technical skills, business acumen and even a few personal skills. Find out where and how to improve your technical, business and personal skills through books, online learning or local community colleges.
Personal changes: These can be tough as we all like to think we’re OK and couldn’t possibly need to change anything about ourselves. But the truth us ‘we are as we are perceived’ and if people say we talk too much or don’t listen well, they didn’t just make it up, that is the way they perceive us. And if we don’t work on personal issues others perceive as negative, our career goal may not be accomplished. And forget all the politically correct mumbo jumbo about how we all need to be accepted for who we are BS…this is a business and if you want to succeed in the environment understand the personal changes you may need to make. If you don’t like the changes suggested, you are always free to take your skills elsewhere.
Choose an incentive to reward yourself with once accomplished:You gotta love goals and the rewards for achieving, so do the same here. Think of something you love, don’t do often because of the time or money commitment required and set out to give yourself that one treasure when you achieve your career goal. Rent a classic car for a day, spend a weekend at a nice hotel, buy that technology gadget you’ve been wanting. Know that when you think about the payoff you are reminded of setting a career goal and that you were willing to work to accomplish.
There are plenty of needs for great talent in the market and frankly will continue to be because business and education is not well aligned on preparing talent with the right skills needed in today’s workplace. Taking that into consideration, the individual who makes it a priority to pursue career goals and is willing to do what is needed to accomplish will go a long way for a long time.