The start of a new year is an opportune time to reflect on your career over the last year, and to consider where you want to be in the future. Regardless of the stage of your career, it is worth taking some time to step back and take stock. How have you grown in the last year? Where do you want to be in one year, five years or ten years from now? What will you need to get there? Here are some things to think about now to help you make the most of 2019.
Identify your wins
Think back on the last year. What have you done well? Where have you had success? It could be a new role you’ve taken on, a new skill you’ve developed or a major project you’ve completed. It might also be outside of work. Perhaps you have volunteered in your local community or studied something new. Take a moment to consider what you have achieved. This can be a satisfying exercise to do for yourself, but it can also be a valuable tool if you are looking to advance your career. Knowing and being able to clearly articulate your strengths and achievements will be a great asset when it comes to updating your resume, preparing for an interview or completing an annual review.
Understand and address your challenges
Reflecting on 2018 might also bring to mind some areas where you would like to improve. What challenged you last year? Why? Try to be specific. Then see if there is something you can do to address those challenges. Do you need to develop a new skill? Find a short course that can help you learn. Do you need to build your experience in a particular area? Look for opportunities to apply your skills and knowledge. You might also consider seeking a mentor for 2019 who can coach and encourage you in the areas you have identified for growth. In today’s competitive career landscape, ongoing learning is essential for career success, so take the time now to think through how you can best position yourself for development in 2019.
Think about where you want to go
Having reflected on the year just gone, take a moment to consider your future. Where do you want to be this time next year? Or even five or ten years from now? If you set career goals last year, check how you are tracking. Do you need to make some adjustments or re-evaluate anything? If you haven’t set career goals for this year, take the time to write some down. Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Set aside time to review your goals regularly and monitor your progress. Whether you are in your ideal role or still working towards it, be intentional about taking your career further this year.
What do you need to succeed in 2019?
Success can be what you make it. What will success look like for you in 2019? Whether you want to move into a new role, develop a new skill or just get even better at doing what you’re doing, be sure to set yourself up for success. Set clear goals and have a plan to achieve them. Know your strengths. Address your challenges. Celebrate your wins. Rest when you need to. Build a team of friends and colleagues around you that will keep you on track and celebrate your success with you throughout the year.