By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.
Take Stock of the Old Before Making Room for the New
With the holiday shopping season in full boom and the New Year just around the corner, I am sure you are already thinking about your goals for 2013. And, perhaps HR and your boss are asking you to put together your professional plan for 2013. Looking forward is certainly one way to define success. I would like to be controversial and suggest another way to close out the year that can be equally rewarding. How about getting closure on where you have been before making room for the new? Noting and owning your accomplishments for the past year sets the foundation for what’s next. It gives your brain a sense of closure and success rather than feeling like you are constantly running against the clock. Here is a quick exercise you can do:
- Grab a piece of paper, journal, or recorder and reflect upon the last year.
- Review your calendar and jog your memory of what you did and when.
- List any accomplishments or personal successes, no matter how small it may seem to you.
- Be sure to view your life holistically—your career, family, community service activities, finances, etc.
- Now review your list and dig deeper. Can you think of any accomplishments that go beyond the traditional way of thinking (major work projects, awards, raises)? Did you learn to communicate more effectively with your boss or team? Did you earn a new professional license? Did you step out of your comfort zone and express your brand in a new way? Are you receiving support from someone new?
- Ask for input. Find a close friend, spouse, or colleague and ask them to review the list with you. Ask them to add any successes you may have forgotten.
- Separate the work success, and draft a few lines on each accomplishment, noting the value you added to your firm. Did you help your firm increase revenues, save money, improve a process, develop a new program, or improve customer relationships? Be specific when you jot down these work accomplishments. Here is a quick formula you can use.
- Challenge – This is the background of your story. What was the particular situation that you faced?
- Actions – What actions did you take to tackle the problem, task, or opportunity?
- Results – What were the results of your actions? What outcomes did you achieve? Be sure to use numbers, percentages, and bottom-line results to quantify your results.
- Save these work accomplishments so if you have to update your résumé later in the year, you’ll have all the information you’ll need at your fingertips. Scrambling to remember these success six months later is always more difficult.
- Celebrate your accomplishments with a glass of egg nog, champagne, or homemade hot chocolate with whipped cream. Whatever will help you relish in your successes.
Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.