New Year, New Opportunities

Published Monday, November 15, 2010 2:22 PM

2011 is right around the corner. This year spend your holiday vacation downtime doing more than sweeping up pine needles and New Year's confetti. Take time to take stock of your career by assessing how the year went and where you want to go in the new one.

You may work at a company that conducts year-end reviews or year-end bonus assessments. This can be a terrific jumping off point as it lays the groundwork for reviewing your past year. But a year-end review is just a start; you want to assess not just past performance in your current job but to reflect on your career path as a whole.

Ready to get started? Begin by reviewing your career goals. Are you in search of a raise or promotion? Are you working towards adding a new skill set to your repertoire? Did this past year move you any closer to your goals? Is it time to recalibrate for the New Year?

Next, review your past year. What concrete goals did you achieve that you can list on a resume? Were there opportunities that you seized? Missed? Can you chart growth from where you were last year?

Now you're ready to do some goal setting. We're talking big picture time. Ask yourself what do you want to be doing more (or less) of in your career. Set lofty goals. Envision your dream job.

Then begin to drill into the details. How will you realize that dream job? What concrete step such as networking, job changing, additional education or training, do you need to undertake? Develop a concrete list of action items.

Finally, share your career path with others such as a trusted mentor or industry peer. Get feedback on your strategy. You may have overlooked something and an outside perspective never hurts.

The New Year is a fresh start; make a resolution to make the most of your career in 2011.


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