….how was your Career in 2012
“2012 was OK for me careerwise. I got a new job and although it wasn’t the job I expected, it is a step forward. I plan to change to my ideal job in 2013 and move ahead”
“2012 was a great year for me. I got better on my job as planned. I work in a bank and was able to surpass my target and get ranked as the best deposit mobiliser for my branch in 2012. A lowpoint was not being able to start my masters degree as planned because I am waiting for the University to shortlist and admit candidates. I planned to complete the masters in 2013 but clearly that goal has to be shifted to 2014”
“2012 was terrible for me. I did not do anything careerwise, at least not as I planned. My main goal was to grow in my work but things went downwards at the company I work. I was mostly idle at work; I sat behind a desk and moved files. No challenge”
With the new year just around the corner it’s certainly another opportunity to regain control of your career.
How was your career in 2012?
Identifying the high and low points of your career in the past year will certainly enable you plan better for the coming year. The purpose of looking back and evaluating past outcomes (successes & failures) of your actions and activities isn’t to drag you through a path of regrets and depression. Rather, it ensures you have a proper understanding of where you are, what you achieved, the obstacles you encountered and ultimately aids you in developing a plan to have a more effective and improved outcome in the coming year. This form of awareness will essentially enable you to take advantage of available opportunities to grow and gain control of your career.
Here are 3 quick steps to guide you through taking control of your career in 2013.
1. Evaluate your Career Goals
Do you have a career goal? A career goal is more than the 2 -3 sentences most of us have on our resume. In this context, think of all you wish to achieve in your career. Essentially, your career goals should include the following;
– Knowledge, skills and expertise you plan to acquire: There is never a limit to how much you can learn and there is always room to acquire or improve knowledge and skills. A lack of relevant skills, knowledge and expertise can get you trapped in dead-end job because you do not have the required skills, knowledge and expertise to get promoted or change jobs all together. Hence, the professional that has a goal to learn is better equipped to grow and have better control of a career.
– Positions/heights you desire to achieve: Is it in your career goal to reach a particular position/height at work or do you wait until others get promoted, then complain about being passed on a promotion? After several months of work, you no doubt want to do something new. But, how conscious are you about getting promoted? Achieving new heights and positions at work is a form of growth and it certainly pays off to take conscious steps to develop necessary skills and expertise required to move ahead to newer heights. Decide on the position/height you wish to achieve in your career, identify and develop the skills and expertise you need to achieve such heights.
– Earnings: Time is money. Your earnings on a job has a part to play in overall job satisfaction. If you are underpaid, it will have a form of effect on your productivity in the long run. It is therefore important to ensure your career progresses towards the goal of better and more suitable earnings.
2. Consider actions in the past year that aid achieving your career goals
The actions and decisions we take have an overal effect on the goals we set out to achieve. Evaluate the outcome of your career goals – successes, delays, deviations and failures. This will help you be more proactive in the future to take conscious steps to achieve set out goals. For instance failing to sit a professional exam or the extreme of taking up the wrong job can amount in moving you away from one or more set career goals. It is however important to note that some career goals take several years to accomplish and it is realistic to have a balance of patience and hardwork to achieve these goals. In assessing your performance towards achieving your career goals consider the following;
- Identify the career goals you achieved in the past year
- Consider your input into achieving these goals
- Identify the career goals that have been delayed or abandoned
- Where your expectations for delayed or abandoned career goals realistic?
3. Evaluate growth opportunities for the new year
A goal without a plan is just a wish. To take control of your career, you must set out a plan which should essentially enable you to take advantage of available opportunities and create new ones. Your plan should be realistic and broken down to include the daily actions and activities you need to perform to ensure your goal is achieved. For instance, if you have identified poor time management as a reason you have not acieved a particular goal in the past year, simply convert this setback to a growth opportunity and take necessary steps to improve. Such steps could include planning your day perhaps with a to-do list and at the end of a day at work, asses how effectively you have managed your time. Every minute counts in following a plan and it is important you break down your overall plan into workable bits and components.
Opportunities for career growth can be achieved through;
– Learning new skills / strengthening existing skills: The skills you possess define how employable you are. After getting a job, you need to develop and strengthen you skills to move upwards. If you are looking to control your career in the new year, a focus on skill development will certainly pay off. Communication, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, the list goes on and these are skills that you must strengthen to ensure growth in your career. Identify the skills you need to strengthen and take necessary steps to develop them and achieve career growth and control.
– Switch jobs: The notion of remaining on a particular job for life is fading away. Most people achieve their greatest career growth leap through moving on to a new job. This gives you the opportunity to explore new challenges, new skills and learning opportunities. If you are taking this path to career growth, do ensure that the job you are moving to has the growth opportunity you so seek. Ensure you develop the skills you need on this job and stay in control of your progression.
Clearly, taking control of your career requires a lot of input and conscious effort from you.
Most importantly, always remember that you have the tools in your hands and mind to achieve personal development to turn the tides of your career to favour you.
Ensure every minute and action counts to achieve growth and control of your career in the new year.
Plan to stay in control!