If you’re like most people, the following feature regularly on your New Year’s Resolution list: get healthy, exercise more, make more money and save.
Well, they still can this year but let’s turn these resolutions to your career and give it a real workout.
Get healthy and detox
Remove the toxic things in your workplace and job and see your career shine:
People – avoid the water filter gossip and negative chatter. This idle chatter only enhances the negativity and you end up taking on from others.
Get comfy with the word “NO!”– Learn to push back and say no if your workload does not permit any more things to add to your to do list.
Facebook or whatever else distracts you - Many workplaces now monitor Facebook and personal email usage, so do yourself a favour log out before you are found out. Turn off the email alerts that tell you someone has commented or tagged a photo of you and lose the trigger of distraction.
Get your career moving in the direction you want:
Study -What courses can you do to enhance your performance at work? Being able to show interest in furthering your professional development will enhance your opportunities for the future. Who knows, your employer may even have a policy in place that funds a relevant course.
Personal development – Have you always wanted to learn Spanish or to make pasta from scratch? Do you have dreamsof owning your own cafe and serving the best coffee in town? Look into a local community college course or short courses run in the area. Learning something new on a personal level will not only give you immense satisfaction and make work more enjoyable, it will also give you something else to talk about when networking.
Mentoring programs – Some organisations run mentoring programs each year where you can nominate yourself as mentee. Be stretched to a new level and see your career bloom. With someone else involved this is a given.
Speak up – Start asking for what you want in your career. If you want to manage people, start showing that you have potential by nurturing junior staff and being of assistance to your Manager. If you are looking for additional responsibilities be proactive and put your hand up for any projects you can get involved in.
Networking – Networking doesn’t mean going to events and handing out your business cards. Networking starts much closer to home, or should that be work. Networking is about being able to engage in interesting conversations with people that you know and people that you want to get to know. In your current role think about conversing with other Divisional Managers, the HR Director and even the CEO – that you normally scurry past in the corridor, eyes to the floor. Being remembered by other people within your workplace may help you when planning new roles and promotion opportunities.
Externally, consider any industry events that may help you advance your career. Professional associations often host networking lunches with an interesting speaker and the chance to meet new people in your field. Check and diarise the events schedule on their websites and ask your friends and colleagues what networking events they go to. It is always easier to take along a colleague or friend to these kind of events but remember, networking is about meeting new people, so enjoy mingling.
Make more money
Earn more responsibility and in turn that into more dollars:
Promotion – Getting to grips with how you get a promotion will give you a head start in what you need to do to get ahead this year. Talk to someone you know has been promoted. What did they have to do – is there an internal recruitment process featured on your intranet? Start to plan what you need to do and how you may approach a promotion. Maybe your appraisal meeting is the right environment to start suggesting how you would like to advance your career. If that meeting is not for a while catch up with your Manager and talk through your thoughts and ask what you need to do in order to advance early. This will also help you craft your professional development plan.
Salary – Having turned a corner from the Global Financial Crisis, employers are dipping their hand back into the corporate purse for projects and new staffing requirements. Perhaps you even noticed it with your Christmas party this year. Be aware of what you and your skills are worth and ensure your salary is on track. Perhaps some may need an adjustment, others preferring a pay rise to maintain motivation in their roles. You can access salary surveys from most specialist recruiters and also get a feel for how much your kind of role will be paying by looking for a similar role on job board websites and newspapers. Similar to the approach of gaining a promotion, aim to talk to your employer and negotiate up. Remember – aim high and be prepared to compromise or settle on a realistic figure.
Redesign your resume – The employment market is improving and as such you never know when you may geta call from a head-hunter or recruiter. Having your resume up to date will give you a head start for any new opportunities presented to you. Make sure that youare adding and updating your resume throughout the year with any new courses you have attended, achievements and new responsibilities. A good exercise is to make this a Saturday morning project. Go to your favourite cafe and get your regular coffee fix. Grab a blank sheet of paper and try to write your current role and achievements on your resume from scratch. You will start to think of new things to add to your skills instead of reading your old resume and adding to it.
Be smart with your time, energy and focus:
Save time – Move over procrastination and get down to business on specific things that you want to achieve this year. You can set goals (see below) but first acknowledge the inner-procrastinator and observe your behaviours when setting out to take on a big task. Planning in advance, concentrating and focusing on the task and rewarding yourself will pay off. Remember, the things you wanted to fiddle around with in advance of the big project will still be there to have a play with later.
Be focused and set some goals – If you want to really achieve something this year commit to it. Write it down, share it with someone who will ask you how you are going and put a visual reminder on the fridge. Whether this is a picture of your favourite house that you want to buy, or perhaps a picture of the car you see yourself cruising in, a visual reminder helps keep you focused. Also consider breaking this goal down into smaller chunks – where are you now in relation to that goal, how will you get to your goal and who may be able to help you. All this can also be achieved with the support of life or career coaches, financial planners or other professional advisors.
Sally-Anne Blanshard is an energetic and focussed Coach who is skilled in the helping you navigate your thinking to create positive changes in life. Coaching programs are available in areas of Career, Job Search, Small Business and Motherhood.
Feed your Career Cravings | Satisfy Life's Appetite