To create a flower garden that blooms all year you first need to plant and nurture the seeds.
Likewise, your career (and ultimately life) success rely on actions, nourishment and ongoing maintenance.
Personal and professional growth is a continuous journey that you must undertake throughout the year. As the new year approaches it is a great time to evaluate your progress and set new targets. These new aspirations can frequently get sidelined with mundane daily tasks, and “urgent” situations that need immediate attention—or as soon as February hits—so start new habits now and create triggers to remind you to keep up the work.
Here are 6 tips that can be used as this year begins to encourage career growth and keep it a priority:
1.Set Your Goals
Goal setting is not something that can be done on a sudden impulse. Take time to research what you want to do next. If you’re contemplating a career move, set up a plan. If you’re unsure where to begin or not sure what your career move should be, hiring a career coach can help you feel confident in your next steps.
Once you have a strategy in place for what you are looking to achieve, learn, and attain in the upcoming year, start by setting tactical goals. Ensure that your daily planner has small bite-size tasks that are prioritized to be completed each day. These tasks must be aligned to complete a specific larger task towards your professional growth. Elevate the importance of these tasks by setting firm and realistic deadlines.
2. Learn from Appraisals & Performance Reviews
Annual appraisals are key towards assisting you to grow professionally. Use constructive criticism to your advantage and avoid taking it personally. The key is to focus on the information that is shared by eliminating any emotional factors that could interfere with your success.
If you’re given an opportunity to create professional development goals for yourself, make sure to take advantage of them. Whether it’s learning a new skill, taking a class, or going to a conference – all on the company’s dime – sign up for as much as you can to utilise their willingness to drive your success.
3. Quantify Your Work
The best way to make yourself valuable is to take initiative and go beyond what is expected of you in the workplace. Learn the skills to extend your deliverables by keeping the big picture of the company in mind. Once you have shown that you can help the bottom line by streamlining processes or reducing expenses you will project yourself as being irreplaceable for the organisation.
It is important to always quantify your work with metrics that demonstrate your achievements and leadership skills. Make a habit of doing this continually through the year, so when it comes time to apply for a promotion or move onto another company, you can update your resume efficiently without having to scramble to compile evidence of your work.
4. Update Your Resume
Building off the last comment, there is no better time than the upcoming new year to give your resume a sparkle by adding your accomplishments over the year. If you haven’t been compiling metrics throughout the year, try to recollect all you can that will showcase your abilities, whether given orally or via email for your outstanding work. Add the facts and figures that show how you have helped increase the company’s success whether by idea generation, revenue growth, or product creation.
Enumerating new training and certifications on the resume will also increase your chances for a raise, a promotion or a position with a new organisation.
5. Increase Your Productivity
Counterintuitive as this may seem, taking a 10-minute break every 50 to 75 minutes boosts your productivity. It is important to stop working even when you are knee-deep in deliverables and responsibilities. Stand up, remove your eyes from your screen, meditate, walk around the office or the block, and then get back to work. Taking time to analyse your productivity and efficiency at regular intervals can also eliminate any signs of burnout. This is applicable at the end of the day as well as throughout the year.
6. Strive for Continuous Learning
The critical component for your professional success in 2020 is a thirst for learning new skills and perhaps attaining a designation that is relevant in your industry. The world and workplace are constantly changing and it’s more important than ever to stay on top of those changes within your work and industry.
Whether it’s a certification course or a training seminar, pursue meaningful education that will help you grow in your role and contribute more towards the organization’s goals. This not only helps you learn but also set you apart from your peers and competition in the marketplace.
The key to career success is effectively evaluating where you are and taking corrective measures to see how you can improve. At the end of the day, week and month, sit back and reflect to analyze what was the most productive thing you accomplished and which activity/project wasn’t productive or effective.
Don’t let another year pass you by without thought, intention, or initiative. The days, weeks, months, and years are not slowing down so set strategic goals to help you be successful, productive, and effective this year – and also help you set yourself up for success in 2020 and beyond.