Steer your career in 2013!
I realized that we become so consumed in our careers that we fail to really think about our careers.
As a habitual reader, I came across a wonderful piece of information which outlines some steps to avoid the trap. It is a fruitful exercise which must not take more than a couple of hours to reflect on one’s career – and plan the next year.
Let’s see how it goes:
Step 1: Review 2012. Review the past year, month by month. Make a list of where you spent your time: include your major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. No need to over-complicate this.
Step 2: Ask, “What is the news?” Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?
Step 3: Ask “What would I do in my career if I could do anything?”Just brainstorm with no voice of criticism to hold you back. Just write out all the ideas that come to mind.
Step 4: Go back and spend a bit more time on Step 3. Too often we begin our career planning with our second best option in mind. We have a sense of what we would most love to do but we immediately push it aside. Why? Typically because “it is not realistic” which is code for, “I can’t make money doing this.” In this economy—in any economy—I understand why making money is critical. However, sometimes we pass by legitimate career paths because we set them aside too quickly.
Step 5: Write down six objectives for 2013. Make a list of the top six items you would like to accomplish in your career in 2013 and place them in priority order.
Step 6: Cross off the bottom five. Once you’re back to the whirlwind of work you’ll benefit from having a single “true north” career objective for the year.
Step 7: Make an action plan for first 2 months. Make a list of some quick wins you’d like to have in place end of March 2013.
Step 8: Decide what you will say no to. Make a list of the “good” things that will keep you from achieving your one “great” career objective. Think about how to delete, defer or delegate these other tasks. Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”
A few hours spent wisely over the next couple of days could easily improve the quality of your life over the 8760 hours of 2013–and perhaps far beyond. After all, if we don’t design our careers, someone else will. (Greg McKeown)