It is hard to believe it will be 2017 in a mere 3 days time. This time of year, we tend to reflect on the past year and make some resolutions for the new year. Often these are personal goals and professional goals are ignored. Take some time and look back at this past year and forward to the next – create some resolutions for your career.
Start by looking back at the past year. How have you grown as a professional? Document accomplishments related to your paid and unpaid (volunteer) work. Did you work on projects, plan events, run a membership drive? Did you further your education or stretch yourself by taking on a new role? Write down your accomplishments – what you did, how you did it and the results and impact on the organization. Add quantifiable data (think dollars, numbers and percentages). Do not neglect your impact on the organization – how did you make a difference for your company? Write it all down.
Next, look at your career goals. If you have not yet developed career goals, now is a great time to do so. How was your progress towards your goals this past year? Did you join a professional organization, obtain some education or learn more about something related to your career? Where did you succeed and where did you fail? Do you need to update any of your goals?
Make sure your goals are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and
Time-Sensitive). For example, if you are currently attending school to earn a nursing degree you might have a goal: Earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at My University by spring of 2019. This goal is specific (earning your BSN), measurable (getting the degree), attainable (know you have two years left), relevant (you want to be a nurse not an accountant) and time sensitive (spring of 2019).
Goals can be related to your current position or perhaps that dream position five or ten years down the road. These goals might be educational goals, personal development or production goals. It could be to start your own business or non-profit. Do not merely look at your current position, look to the future.
Finally prioritize your goals. Determine specific actions you will take in the next month, three months, six months and year. Write down your goals and come up with a plan. This year, include New Year’s Resolutions related to your career.
Rose Holland is the spouse of an Active Duty Army Reservist and is an advocate for military and veteran families. She has three adult children and has been married to her husband, Michael, for 30 years. She is a certified Workforce Development Professional, Federal Career Coach and Job Search Trainer.