Rather than add one more thing to your ‘list of things to do’, I decided to dilute this list a little and set out the most important things I think you should do for your career in 2016:
Look forward to the end of 2016
Imagine yourself in December 2016, looking back on the year that was. What are some of the words you would like to use to describe what you feel? Proud? Accomplished? Happy? Content?
Here are some words you don’t want to use to describe your year – disappointed, exhausted, sad, angry
So decide now how you want to feel at the end of the year, and remember that feeling. Every career step or decision you take needs to be working towards that feeling, and when you find yourself feeling negative thoughts, remember how you want to be feeling and work out what you need to do to change that situation, or how you can use the negative experience to your advantage.
How to get there
Once you decide how you want to feel at the end of the year, write down three or four significant goals you want to achieve. ‘Achieve’ is the most important word here – these goals must be SMART goals:
Realistic (or what Resources do you need)
Prepare for appraisals/reviews
I believe you need to start preparing for your annual performance review the day after your last one. If you have not already started doing that, start now. Review your last appraisal:
Were you happy with the appraisal?
Did you act on the feedback you were given?
Did you set goals?
Did you achieve them?
Do you need a new goal?
What feedback from clients and supervisors have you received?
What major projects have you been involved with?
Do you need any stretch assignments?
Keep a ‘little jar of awesome’
A friend told me about this ‘self help’ tool she used and it is such a great idea I decided to try it myself this year! She keeps a jar on her desk and writes a note on a post it or other small piece of notepaper every time something good happens at work – achieving a new goal, getting good feedback from a supervisor or a client, nailing a presentation, learning a new skill, someone expressing gratitude etc. Write the date down, the event and how it made you feel. At the end of the year you can look back on your ‘little jar of awesome’ and remember the many times you succeeded and felt great at work.