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It might be tempting to just sit back and relax this holiday season. However, as we head into the final stretch of the year, it’s important to spend these last weeks wisely so that you can enter 2020 prepared and focused to achieve your career goals. The new year presents a perfect opportunity for you to do better and be more than you were in the previous year, and this applies to your career. Here are 6 actionable steps for you to kick off the new year with a bang at your job.
1. Review the past year
It’s natural to be in a reflective mood as December comes to an end. You’ll probably be thinking of making new year resolutions and reviewing the past year. Don’t forget to also reflect on your career; figure out what were the good things and the bad things that you’ve gone through in your job. You shouldn’t be beating yourself up over past mistakes or boasting about all your accomplishments. It’s important to learn from your past successes and failures so that you can figure out what went well for you professionally and to work on areas where you can improve. Involve your manager and colleagues to get different opinions and feedback that will help with this review process. Remember, through this process, it’s important to not leave any stone unturned. You have to be thorough!
2. Set goals and create a vision board
Once you’re done reflecting on the past year, it’s time to plan for the upcoming one. When it comes to your career, think about one or two big milestones that you would want to accomplish. You might want to consider creating a vision board where you lay out your plans. Apart from the big milestones, you’ll need to break it down into smaller goals that you’ll want to achieve by month and quarter. Most importantly, plan the action steps that you will need to take to achieve these goals. Throughout the year, you should revisit these goals and action steps to evaluate your progress. You might find that your goals may have changed due to changing circumstances in your job.
3. Have a discussion with your manager
To be able to learn more and move forward with your career plans, you’ll need to have a sit down with your manager. Talk about the ways you wish to improve and develop yourself through your role. Are there any training plans that you can embark on? Will you be able to take on projects at work that will allow you to gain new experiences that will challenge you? This would also show your manager that you have given serious consideration and thought towards progressing your career. Your manager may be able to provide you with the support and resources that you will need and may otherwise have not gotten if you had kept your plans to yourself.
4. Strengthen your connections
Before the new year begins, get in touch with several contacts that you’ve been meaning to reach out to. Arrange to meet them for coffee or a meal in the first few weeks of 2020. You wouldn’t want to let your connections slip away and it’s crucial to reconnect with those who have contributed or will contribute to your career. It’s also a great way to thank them for playing a part in your career in the past year. If there are plenty of people for you to get in touch with, you could also consider sending them a holiday card or thank you note. You never know when these professional connections might come in handy and how they could impact your career.
5. Declutter and prep yourself
Stay on top of things and check things off your to do list. You’ll find that small tasks at work tend to pile up and you’ll want to get them squared away before the new year starts. This means clearing out your inbox, tying up loose ends on projects, filing paperwork and even clearing your desk at work! You’ll want to start off the new year on a clean slate and not play catch up. Therefore, set some time aside and finish up these small tasks so that you can focus on the bigger things in 2020.
6. Give yourself some breathing room
It’s a busy period during the end of the year. People get caught up in the holiday spirit, with gatherings to attend and spending time with their loved ones. Additionally, while people tend to take time off from work, it also means that there is a bit of a rush to get work completed before deadlines and the beginning of January. However, you should also capitalise on the public holidays to take time to have a breather and rest so that you can get your new year off to the best start possible.
It’s never too early to start planning for the new year and what better time to start than right now. Do yourself a favour and put in the time and effort to complete these steps to kick off the new year with a bang and boost your career in 2020.
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