January 1st is a day when many people think about the past and set resolutions in place for the coming year. It’s a powerful tradition, so it might be interesting to do the same thing for the course of your career.
To start, figure out how far along you are in your career path. This is tougher than just looking at where you are between your schooling and age 65, because schooling doesn’t stop when you graduate, and the whole concept of “retirement” will look different by the time you reach that magic age. Already, many people have figured out that they don’t want to just stop cold when they reach a particular birthday.
More useful is to look at stages of your life. So far, I’ve gone through formal education, contributing as a software engineer, moving into management, developing my business education, and developing as a coach. My current stage is building my own business, because I’ve started but it hasn’t yet reached maturity. I’ll be satisfied when I’m contributing full-time to the local business community by being a well-known and powerful small business coach. Even after I’m 65, I’ll expect to continue coaching, although less than full time.
Where are you on your career journey? What stages have you passed through so far? How would you describe your current stage, and what would you like your future to look like?
Now here’s where the New Year’s Resolution comes in: What one thing can you do this coming year that will make your desired future more possible? Education? Developing relationships? Working yourself into a specific job?
Or perhaps what will REALLY bring your job satisfaction is having a better balance with the rest of your life. So maybe the challenge is to figure out how to work less but be more productive. It’s a true challenge, but when you are able to make progress, your life becomes a lot more, well, LIVABLE.
So focus on one thing that will make a true difference to your career this year. Then get started!
by Carl Dierschow