Suddenly, a new year is upon us. 2013 slipped by like a brief nap, and now 2014’s alarm clock is missing the proverbial snooze button. For some, the New Year remains tingling with excitement while making New Year resolutions as they put away holiday trimmings, dreaming of embracing opportunities and progressions to come.
For many, the New Year means taking an active role in career/professional progression. Notice the underlined word: active.
You heard it here first: career progression requires you to be an active participant while career stagnation requires nothing at all. In other words, if nothing changes… nothing changes.
Unfortunately, some greet the New Year without developing a plan (strategy) and decide to go on day by day the same as last year, giving the New Year no special shine or commitment.
My question for those sitting back passively: Do you complain when opportunities go to the other guy? Do you blame others when you don’t get the interview or promotion?
Not all people have the same attitude about the New Year. What’s your approach for the New Year? Will you sit back or will you take control of your destiny?
For those choosing career stagnation and complacency, don’t read any further… why should you?
For those choosing to take an active role, where excuses are not an option, please continue…
The New Year can be your new start. NOW is the time to revive your entire life. Whether you’ve been in your career for some time or are still searching, this is your time. Here are several steps to get you going in the right direction:
Step One: Visualize. For the next 24 hours, concentrate on where you want to be (professionally). The first steps are simple yet powerful ones… after all, if you don’t know where you are going (or want to go), you probably won’t get there. During this 24 hour period, brainstorm professional destinies, promotions, and/or job positions. This is a time for your creative juices to run amuck. While brainstorming, jot those dreams down. Place your list away for an additional 24 – 48 hours… no peeking.
Step Two: Reflection. After a day or two take stock of what was written during your brainstorm session. Take mental notes and prioritize while reviewing. In other words, think about what is most important to you, ranking the top three by preference. Hopefully you have at least six professional or career destinies. With the top three in hand, time to go to step three.
Step Three: T-Chart Action. With the top three (if you have only one or two, not a problem) professional destinies in hand, time to create a t-chart and a plan to morph vision into reality. Fold a clean sheet of paper vertically, creating a natural border between the two sides. On top of the page, list one (repeat and list each career goal/destiny on a separate sheet of paper) of your professional goals. On the left hand column, write essential requirements and on the other side, write what you will be doing to increase your chances to reach the desired goal.
For instance, let’s say your number one goal this year is to “get a job.” Place “get a job” on the top center of the page. The left half of the page (essential requirements) may include professional development courses, attaining a diploma, or learning an industry-specific software or platform (this list is by no means all-inclusive and depends upon your knowledge, skills, abilities, and background). On the right side of the paper detail the plan to meet each requirement on the left. For example, you may need to revise your cover letter and resume reflecting relevant transferrable skills (lucky for you, these topics will be covered soon). If you need to learn a new software program, write down the steps to gain such knowledge. Once your list is detailed, time for action.
Step Four: Accountability. One can list and dream all they want but when it comes to professional goals, vision without action/accountability turn to mist and disappointment quickly. Take your three t-charts (one for each goal), selecting the ONE goal most likely to be achieved. The reason for taking the most likely approach is to enhance confidence, paving the way for bolder accomplishments. At this time, take another day to visualize potential obstacles, forming a strategy to overcome and persevere.
Side note: There always will be set-backs and challenges… recognizing and taking a proactive approach BEFORE obstacles get in the way is a proven method toward goal attainment and empowerment.
You have the power of choice. Your thoughts, your decisions, and your actions about who you are and where you’re going are what shape you.
This year, this bright and shining New Year, you are going to progress and succeed!
So, what’s it going to be? If you’re not where you want to be, or if you recognize that things can improve (and they ALWAYS can), then choose 2014 to be the year of Professional Empowerment. To help you along the way, for the next couple of weeks, we’ll go over proven tools enabling you to find the best path for 2014.
Until then, now is the time to visualize. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in your relationships at work, at home, and at school, and it will make your next steps much clearer, which we’ll talk about next week.
Make this year different. Make it better. Make it count, and start now.
Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you.
Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com