Annual goals. We all have them; we often start them in January with the best intentions. But sometimes we don't finish them. If a few goals got lost in the shuffle over the last few months, there's still time to make progress on them—if not achieve them—by year-end. And where can you improve? What can you build on? What do you want to learn more about? How do you want to transform yourself? Maybe you can start by thinking about several of the outcomes below.
As the days pass during the work week, we tend to put our heads down and work on things only in our wheelhouse. Thinking about ways to change this behavior will not go unnoticed in the firm. Become the lead on a project. Take on a new challenge or responsibility. Participate in a new task force or meeting. Volunteer your time to help another. Allow yourself to do things that might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable to you and that get you out of your daily routine. You might surprise yourself.
Get a coach
Take the time to find a coach at your firm. As you search for ways to grow at your job, a coach can help you get in alignment with what you need to do. Not sure of where to start when it comes to coaching? I've learned you don't have to jump in fully but can start with baby steps. Those baby steps involve discussing one question at a time. Focus on one piece—not the whole picture.
Be a delegate
As we get busier with projects and day-to-day tasks, we often find there are things we do that we don't necessarily like doing. Perhaps someone else can do them better. It could be as simple as things that fall to the bottom of the priority list and never get done. That is where delegation comes in. Don't be wary of the word delegation. Don't hesitate to ask for assistance down, up or across your firm. I've found that delegation helps me avoid burnout and only makes me want to delegate more in my role.
Develop a personal development plan
Most plans focus on specific tasks or to-dos during a specific quarter or calendar year. They are almost entirely career- or work-focused. Rarely do they take your personal and family goals into account. And rarely do they focus on your lifetime goals and growth.
A personal development plan encompassed all of these factors. It can include overall career and personal and family goals wrapped into one plan. These goals can be a culmination of what you want to accomplish over a lifetime, along with details on how. It can create a personal map of how to get there.
Become a leader
Perhaps you don't hold a leadership position in your office (yet). Maybe you're a new employee, and the title "leader" isn't even on your radar yet. You can still start developing into a leader at work in many ways.
First, figure out what kind of leader you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your leadership characteristics? What is your leadership vision? What leadership statement best describes you? Find the answers to your questions, and you can develop a leadership plan to focus on and perfect for 2023 and beyond.
Train, learn and educate
It's your career. There's no better time to start honing your craft. It's time to start polishing what you do. It's time to start building it for the future. Identify the areas of your job responsibilities that you want to grow in and start learning more. Take a class that teaches you something that you didn't already know. Shadow a colleague to understand what it takes and see it through their eyes. Read a book. Write a report. And above all, ask lots and lots of questions.
Enjoy a better work-life balance
Eat, work, eat, work, eat, sleep. For most people, this is what work-life balance looks like. There is no inclusion of family or friends or fun or free time. Generally, we only add time for the necessities to survive a long, never-ending workday. There is no "life" in the formula, only work. This formula is not the equation for great work-life balance. Your balance should include movie nights, free time when you don't pick up your phone because you were too busy re-living old times with your friends, and time spent in total silence, sitting on a beach or a mountain.
A life with downtime, hobbies and personal relationships creates a better career and energy for you and everyone around you. Take the time to figure out what you want your work-life balance to look like. You will see it's not about survival but about truly living.
Here's to making this the year you step from behind the curtain and start speaking your mind. Take the opportunity to make yourself heard at your next company meeting. Even if you think your idea is off the wall or just a small brainstorm that isn't quite developed, get it out there and start talking about it. Start taking the initiative and express yourself.
Steer clear of negative influences
Don't become involved in negative situations or with negative people at work. Remember that those people are having issues and must deal with them independently. Don't fuel their fire. Try to remain a positive influence and suggest constructive options for them to get out of their funk. Become a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
I've added communication to this list to remind myself to do it better. Work hard at it every day. It is essential to teamwork, productivity and innovation.
Take some time to refocus yourself for the rest of the year. Make your career personal. Set goals and watch them become part of life. There's still time, and you'll be happy for any progress you make by year-end!
As the Member Experience Strategist of Project Management for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Erin plans, organizes, secures and manages resources for the firm’s many service and program areas, including providing assistance and constant communication with clients and sponsors and serving as an even liaison. Her primary duties include overseeing and managing the specifics of all Boomer Consulting, Inc. communities, such as the Boomer Technology Circles, CIO Circle, Managing Partner Circle, Business Transformation Circle and Operations Circle.