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8 Ways to Refresh Your Career in the New Year post image

If you’re like me, at this point, the holiday hoopla already feels like a distant memory; you’re invigorated by the possibilities for the year ahead; and perhaps just a bit overwhelmed by the the stretch-goals in front of you. You’re neck-deep in planning and goal setting. If you’re a people manager, you’re likely meeting with your team to establish performance agreements and developmental plans. Excellent. Don’t forget about you.

8 Ways to Refresh Your Career in the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to step back and take some tangible actions to invest in your career. Here are 8 ways to get you started.

  1. Identify one fear to overcome.
    We’ve all got them–the one area of our life that would improve if only we weren’t too scared. How would your career (and life) improve if this were the year you got past it? Start by writing it down. This year I’ll have the courage to _______. Then tell someone about your plan. The best way to build real confidence is to succeed at something that scares you.
  2. Take an honest inventory of what’s working and where you’re stuck.
    What were the three behaviors that most helped your career and your professional brand in 2015? Which three behaviors got in the way? What, specifically, can you do to continue more of the beneficial behaviors and reduce (or eliminate) the non-productive or career damaging ones?
  3. Update your LinkedIn profile.
    Yes, you should. I’m working with a company now that recently announced an 8000 person reduction. Many of those folks now scrambling to build the next phase of their career have admitted that they hadn’t really worried about their LinkedIn profile before. Here are some hints to get you started.
  4. Identify your big win.
    You have lots of goals and objectives to achieve this year, I get that. But it’s worth identifying the one area where you’re going to absolutely turn heads. What will you achieve this year that will be worth a champagne toast and others swarming to you to learn your secrets?  What can you and your team achieve that will really change the game? If you manage people, this is a great conversation to have in one of your first meetings of the year.
  5. Clear out the clutter.
    A Gartner survey found that an average employee can spend up to $4800 just looking for stuff. Now before any of my awesome administrative assistants who’ve supported me over the years start leaving pithy comments, let me admit I’m terrible at this. So, instead of telling you how…. here’s a nice resource on the topic.
  6. Build a networking plan.
    Make a list of people you would like to know better, and identify one way you can help them or make their job easier. I’m also a big believer in “just because” networking. Imagine the possibilities if you took a deliberate approach to getting to know a bit more about the folks you encounter as you go through your day (on the plane, at the gym, in that class you’re taking). There’s awesome power in the strength of weak ties.
  7. Make your reading list.
    A study from the University of Sussex found that reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce your stress levels by 68%.  Most CEOs I know read (including me) read at least four books a month.  Of course I recommend Winning Well for April (learn why here). Inc also has an interesting list of books recommended by high-profile CEOs.
  8. Get feedback
    Whether you use a simple DIY approach to 360 development or invest a little more in a formal process like the one included in my online course, Results that Last, the best way to improve is to truly understand the perceptions of others. 360s can help you identify small behavior changes that can go a long way in building trust and improving communications.

You have the power to make 2016 remarkable.

Your turn. What advice do you have for refreshing your career in the new year?
Filed Under:   Career & Learning
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA's 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015, & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America. She’s the author of 2 books: Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.
 

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What People Are Saying

James McKey   |   06 January 2016   |   Reply

Great new post for the year Karen! I love that you revealed your own area that you need help yourself for #5 on clutter. I struggle there too (for my desk area). I just always convince myself it’s a lower priority than everything else, but when it gets out of hand it suddenly becomes really critical.

Karin Hurt   |   06 January 2016   |   Reply

James, Yup… that’s me. I can always find something more pressing to do… but then have to “waste” time when I get frustrated and have to clean it up.

David Tumbarello   |   06 January 2016   |   Reply

Nice to see “Identify your big win” and to celebrate. Career is the key word in the title of this post. A career shouldn’t be left to chance, and by identifying wins and doing some … toasting to yourself & the team … this is one sure way of taking responsibility for your career growth. Thanks for the reminder & may we all move forward with intentional careers!

Karin Hurt   |   06 January 2016   |   Reply

David, Thanks so much! Identifying your one big win is on my shortlist of secrets that propelled my career at Verizon. To have your team stand out you need to be known for something. It’s important to pick the right “something” to nail.

zafar manzoor   |   06 January 2016   |   Reply

Excellent points and food for thought / actions.
Very good and practical points indeed.
All the important jobs to be completed in the year 2016 must be briefly documented with rational target dates (month-wise basis).
This plan may be reviewed on monthly basis as a part of self assessment.
Wastage of time is altogether a risky business.

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