Your Career in 2008 – Get a Fresh Start!

Have you thought about your career goals for 2008? What worked to years ago in planning and managing your career will not work for your career development in the 21st Century. Managing your career in the 21st Century requires preparation, career goal planning and career guidance and ensuring that your time is directed meaningfully.

Here is how to find enjoyment and continue to progress in your career.

1. Determine if your present job is in line with who you are, what you value, and what you are good at. Are you really doing what you want to do? Being self-aware means you become clear about what you stand for and what you have to offer. When you know what you have to offer, you become more powerful and intentional in your work. Doing a good job is no longer good enough to guarantee your career will go well. You are your most important asset. Self-branding provides direction and clarity of purpose for how you work, not just what you do for a living.

2. Identify your job satisfiers and dissatisfiers. Find a way to do more of the tasks/projects that you enjoy.

3. Identify your accomplishments.

4. Take the time to build and maintain relationship with individuals who might impact your work. You will benefit personally and professionally from the time you invest in such relationships.

5. Determine and write down your vision for your professional life. What actions do you need to take that will get you there? Celebrate the steps you take daily to achieve your vision. You can create the life you want! Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Keep work in perspective – remember how you left work on time in the summer?
  • Manage your stress – identify what causes you stress and how it affects you.
  • Take time out – close your door (if you have one), call forward your phone, turn off your e-mail, take a walk. Use this time “during your work day” to prepare for a big meeting, a presentation or work on a project.
  • Delegate – are you spending too much time on the administrative process of your job and not utilizing your skills to benefit your long-term goals and your company’s goals?
  • Work/Play Balance – what did you enjoy doing during the summer that you want to continue (going to the movies, playing tennis, volunteering, spending time with your kids, seeing friends, etc.)? Put it on your schedule.

6. Be Bold! Don’t be afraid to take on some responsibilities in positions above you. Aim to always exceed expectations.

7. Manage your own time. Set boundaries. Learn to say “no” to non-essential use of your time.

8. Look for way to do things better, and more efficiently. Change a routine task – develop a new process. Instead of handling your e-mails as you get them, set aside specific times during the day to respond.

9. Be great at what you do. The knowledge and skill that create success in your current job will position you for your next move.

10. Be aware of roadblocks that can limit your potential to move upward.

11. Take on projects that will most likely benefit you.

12. Have passion for what you are doing and working toward. You will automatically put more effort into it. If you are not feeling passionate about your work ask yourself: is what you “should’ be doing interfering with what you want to be doing?

Remember! Your career must contribute to your life, not the other way around!

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