By Perminus Wainaina
It’s fair to say that December is traditionally regarded as one of the quietest months in corporate industry.
This is because most businesses are winding down for the Christmas break, which for most is in about a weeks’ time, and we shall be looking forward to the New Year.
However, unknown to you, this final month is the most important time for your career review.
It provides a unique opportunity for find yourself a new job to kick off 2018 if you are a job seeker, review your career progress and status if you are already employed and identify your place in the saturated job market if you’ve just graduated from college or University.
Forget about the usual New Year resolutions. What you need a well-planned Career Resolutions list to make sure you are headed on the right track for the year ahead.
In my several years practicing HR, I’ve gathered so many reasons as to why December is the best time to lay out your career resolutions list for career growth. Let’s look at some of these highlights below:
Importance of setting a career resolution list before the New Year Hits
1. Enables you to take charge of your career path prior the New Year
Career resolution list gives you a sense of direction, the opportunity to reflect on how your career path has been progressing throughout the 11 months in 2017, set targets and the opportunity to recognize where things may be going wrong.
2. Presents you with a great opportunity to take stock of your year’s accomplishments
Did you finish that project? Did you speak up more in the boardroom meetings this year? Did you get more active in your professional networking?
Let’s all agree on this one thing; setting a goal and successfully achieving it feels so great right?
Now, think about setting the goal and never taking time check whether you did it or not?
You might be just piling a lot of to do list each month without accounting for their progress.
3. A career resolution list is a great way to overcome your limitations in the new year
Having realized what you accomplished and did not accomplish, a prudent person then seeks to know the hindrances for his/her career progression and set up mechanisms to ensure that they are not recurrent in the New Year.
6 Ways of refreshing Your Career in the New Year
This said, you are now aware that this is the perfect time to step back and take some tangible actions to invest in your career. Here are 8 ways to get you started on this before 2018 dawns.
1. Identify at least one fear that you must overcome in 2018
We all have it, the one area in your life that would improve if you weren’t too scared to face the fears surrounding it. Some fears will hold you back more than others but in any case face them.
Is it your fear of public speaking? Is it your interview anxieties? Is it your fear of building networks? Is it you fear of criticism? Identify it and develop mechanisms to get around it.
2. Seek career advice from experts in the industry
To get a solution, you must identify the problem. Are you at that point in your career where you are feeling stuck, stagnant or not sure the direction your career is taking? Are you feeling as if you are no longer in charge of your career?
SEE ALSO >>> How Career Coaching Changed My Life
Are you comfortable with where you are in your career in terms of responsibilities and salary? Do you desire to grow and achieve more? The answers to these questions will guide you on whether you need a professional career mentorship program to jump start your career in 2018.
3. Build your social media professional networks
You may have heard of LinkedIn and just never signed up, or you may have created a profile and then wiped your hands of it. With over 300 million members, LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for professionals. You don’t want to miss out on this.
That’s where you meet recruiters; you connect with new networks and create your online personal brand available for both employers and prospects. Set your profile to reflect your current objectives and professional advancement.
4. Build a strong networking plan for the New Year
60% of jobs come through networking. Make a list of people you would like to know better, and identify ways you can connect with them on various platforms. Make efforts in the New Year to Network outside your social circles to discover avenues for more skills and opportunities.
5. Learn new skills and become an expert in your field
Sharpen your professional skills and get informed about the industry trends and changes. You can achieve this by subscribing to relevant newsletters like IHRM for Human resource practitioners, following industry leaders on twitter like Chris Kirubi and even volunteering to speak at conferences or other social events.
By building yourself, you will be preparing yourself for better opportunities in the industry.
As we wrap up 2017 please note…
A new year is also a new opportunity to set SMART goals and follow through to see that you attain optimum career growth and satisfaction.
Remember that you also need an accountability partner; someone who will see to it that the goals you set are being achieved in set timelines.
Happy holidays and have fruitful 2017!