2020 is going to be a year of change. We can’t deny that Brexit will have an impact politically, economically and socially. What is unclear is the positive or negative affect of that change. You may feel excited or anxious about how this change may impact you personally. While you can’t exert any control over the outcome of Brexit (unless you’re Boris Johnson or Donald Tusk), you can control what happens to your career this year. You can decide to make this the best year ever for your career!
Taking control and becoming a career activist will be the best decision you can make for your career. Maybe you’re plateauing in your career at the moment, or you’re keen to move to a more senior role but feeling a bit unsure about how to, or you just want to stop holding yourself back from fulfilling your potential. Follow these tips to achieve the best year ever for your career in 2020:
The cornerstone of career success is being clear about what you want and who you want to be.
Maybe your career has a defined pathway, so for example, you know you want to move Head of Communications to Communications Director. This makes it easy to check in with yourself that this is the right direction of travel for you.If the answer is yes then you can focus on that route. But if the answer is no, it’s important to understand why not. Maybe you’re more of an ops person than a strategist, so you then might be looking for a new role that expands your remit to give you more challenge rather than moving upwards. For example, adding employee engagement to your communications role.
If your career path isn’t so obvious, then you need to spend time identifying what your next role looks like. What elements does it need:
- intellectual demand
- topic/subject matter
A career vision board can be really useful for this as it can tap into your subconscious, plus it’s great fun to do! Read my blog on How to Create a Career Vision Board for ideas.
If you’re still struggling identifying your direction then some external help, such as a career coach, can be a good investment.
Now you’re clear about what you’re aiming for, you need to draw up your battle plan! Having a strategy to get to where you want to be is essential for career success. Set yourself some goals to achieve your next steps. These can include:
- Increase your expertise – are there gaps in your knowledge, skills or experience? Look at the roles you are interested in and do a gap analysis. Once you know what’s missing you can plan how to address them. This could be a mixture of spotting opportunities at work to do something new, e.g. lead a project, mentor a more junior staff member or present to the senior team. And self learning – increasing your knowledge through reading, online training, videos, etc.
- Get some feedback – your current boss could be really helpful in getting your positioning right. Ask for feedback on what they think you need to be ready for the next role. Then ask for opportunities to build on this.
- Increase your visibility – do a mini audit on your current profile like within your company or profession? Ask yourself whether you relish self-promotion or shy away from it because you don’t want to seem arrogant or pushy? Becoming more visible is an important part of making this year great. People need to know about your skills and abilities. Stuck for ideas – consider these:
- writing and publishing articles on LinkedIn or in groups
- taking part in your professional body’s network
- making contact with the ‘right’ people in your company/industry
- attending networking events to build your network (hate networking read this)
- looking for opportunities to speak or present
- talking about yourself and your achievements
- having an opinion/voicing your ideas at work
- Make a plan – take all your ideas and turn them into a plan for the year so you know how you going to make this the best year ever for your career.
Having a plan is one thing, actually delivering it is another! To be successful this year, you need to use your time well to avoid overwhelm. There are some great techniques out there, e.g. the Pomodoro technique, apps to monitor your screen time. Work out what works for you and make some changes to our routine to get the most out of your day.
Book a regular review with yourself to check in on progress. And find someone to keep you accountable, as this is a key part of staying productive.
Get the Right Attitude
When you’re stretching yourself and heading out of your comfort zone, the old confidence gremlins can kick in. You might find your saying more ‘I can’t’ rather’ than ‘I can’ Attitude and mindset are everything, and the good news is that you are, very much, in control of them. Working on your self belief is hard work but very necessary. If you need some help with this then you may be interested in my Career Confidence course which is packed with tools and techniques.
If you know you’re holding yourself back or have a self limiting belief that is getting in your way, you may find some specific coaching support can make all the difference to putting yourself n the right headspace for change.
Resilience is that ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties. Just in case your move to your next role is not plain sailing, make sure you reflect and learn from knock backs and difficult situations.
Go For It!
Take charge and make 2020 the best year ever for your career.
Photo courtesy of Sydney [email protected]