Whew! It looks like we may actually survive to the end of 2011 – and it’s been a brutal year. If you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’ve probably worried about whether you’d keep it.
Time to have some great quality time with the family, and refresh for a new year.
It’s also a good time to look at the state of your career, and use a little time off to take some action to make 2012 a great year. Here’s some ideas:
1) Refresh Your Résumé or CV
At the very least, capture examples of your contribution, educational experiences you had this year, and skill improvements. Employers will focus on the most recent and up-to-date information, so make sure you capture it before you forget.
2) Think Through the Next Stage of Your Career
Look at what opportunities your employer might give you, but also what direction you’d take if you had some freedom. You might just find that 2012 is the year to take the big leap toward that dream you’ve never had the guts to write down.
3) Identify Five Key Relationships to Develop
We all struggle with relationships that aren’t working very well – with the boss, with other key influencers, with people who will help our advancement. Write down some actual names, and think through how to approach each person and create the kind of support and cooperation that you’d like to have.
4) Pick Two Skills You Want to Improve Next Year
What are your areas of knowledge that are getting a bit out of date? What would improve your chances for the next job you’d like to have?
5) Examine Your Financial Safety Net
Yeah, this is a pain. I understand that you’re afraid to find out how badly your savings have been damaged over the last few years. But without knowing, you might be making poor decisions – either too conservative or too risky. Go talk to a financial advisor and get a sense of your true situation.
6) Research Other Fields
I’m often shocked at how insulated people become: They focus on their own industry, their own job field. Guess what? Creative stuff is happening all over, and there’s great things to learn from people you’ve never heard of. Spend a little time snooping around the great videos on www.ted.com.
7) Look for People You Can Help
When you help others, they help you, and the relationship grows. Find others in your company who could benefit from the knowledge you have, and help them out.
8) Take a Fresh Look at the Larger Strategy
You’re employed for a reason: Your job plays an important role in some larger picture. Do you know what that is? Are you able to find opportunities to make a deeper contribution by expanding what you do? If so, you’ll be more valuable to your boss and the company.
9) Talk to People You Don’t Normally Hang Out With
The holidays are a great time to mix in different circles, to find out what’s going on in the bigger world. Set up some one-on-one conversations with people who have a little time to spare, and find out what they’re up to. You may just open up some new possibilities you’d never thought of.
It’s important to not overwork yourself – humans weren’t designed to work 24×7. Maybe you’ve lost touch a little with your family and friends too. So take a little time to kick back and relate with others and friends and loved ones. Your job’s important, but it’s not the only thing.
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This is your chance to take a fresh look, to rest and rejuvenate, and set some powerful goals for 2012. Where do you want to be a year from now? What one thing would help make a big difference?
Take advantage of the opportunity.
by Carl Dierschow