Each year, once the festivities are over and I’ve settled back into everyday life, I like to take some time to reflect on the personal achievements of the last 12 months before setting some new objectives for the year ahead. Doing this helps me to make sure I maintain momentum and retain my focus on personal and career goals.
Defining some clear goals and keeping them somewhere I can see them every day means I have a constant reminder of what I need to do and can hold myself to account by checking my progress on a regular basis. Over the years, this has really helped me to push forward with my personal development by setting out commitments that I can work towards to ensure I continue making progress.
Maybe this is something you have tried or perhaps you are still wondering what your goals should be. Either way, here are some ideas for carrying out a career MOT and making 2017 a year for development and progression:
1) Assess your skills – Want to take the next step but not sure how to get there? Consider carrying out a skills assessment to review the skills you require compared with those you need so that you can identify areas you need to work on. Reviewing the job descriptions of the type of role you would like to move into will help you assess what skills you need to work on. Try this skills assessment questionnaire from Mindtools.com to help you get started.
2) Set objectives – Think about what you want to achieve for the year and set some SMART objectives. These should be specific in what you want to achieve, how you will know when you have succeeded and within what timescale. Set 3 objectives for the year and then put them where you can see them everyday so you won’t forget!
3) Book a course – Is there a clear area that you need to work on to progress your career? Or maybe you just want to have formal recognition of your skills. Continuing on a learning journey is really important so have a look what courses are on offer and book yourself a place. Your local college or university will offer a range of courses and lots now have distance learning options too. The Open University has a range of free online courses in a range of subject areas if you want a taster to get you started.
4) Get a mentor – Worried that you can’t approach someone more senior for advice? Don’t worry, there are lots of schemes out there which will match you with someone who has more experience either in your own industry or with someone who has complementary skills so you can learn and grow by talking things through and providing advice and support to tackle whatever challenge you are currently facing. Aspire Foundation currently offer free mentoring with the aim of empowering women around the world.
5) Don’t forget your SELF – One thing crucial for leadership and progression is your own well-being so make sure at least one objective is about how you will take care of your self. This could be to spend more time with friends and family, go for a walk, practice yoga (try yoga with Adrienne) or learn to meditate (Headspace). Whatever it is, don’t forget that nurturing your sense of self is crucial for resilience which is also at the heart of success.