It seems the fad these days is to dismiss New Year’s resolutions as a lot of hype about changes that never materialize. Unfortunately, that is too often true for most of us. I, however, love the refreshing feel of the New Year. It gives hope for change, for opportunities and for the chance to do something different to advance our goals. So, instead of “resolutions”, the new year is an opportunity for me to review, contemplate and plan for what comes next.
This month’s article is about your goals for 2019. How can you get better in 2019? What can you do to get closer to your dreams?
If you’d like support in reaching a goal, improving a skill, gaining clarity on your future or other objectives on your list, consider coaching as a tool to get you there. Email me to talk about what you’d like to achieve in 2019.
If you’re not ready for one on one coaching, join us for the next series of “Coaching Over Coffee” small group sessions to begin in February. For more info, click here.
My wish for you is that 2019 gets you closer to your dreams!
2019 Career Path Essentials
I’m a planner. I like to have a plan and I enjoy crossing things off my “to do” list. I get uneasy when my days don’t go as planned. I can adjust, but I don’t really like it and at the end of the day, I feel like the day just wasn’t quite as satisfying.
I realize you’re not all planners. There are a good number of you who like to figure it out as you go. That’s ok, too. As long as you have a compass pointing in the general direction you want to head, you don’t need to have every step planned out.
From time to time I’m asked “How do I create my 5- and 10-year career plan?” This question always comes from the planners out there.
Here’s my confession: I never had a long-term career plan. I had a very successful corporate career without a plan. How did I do it? The critical elements of a career path, for planners and non-planners alike, include:
Have a vision statement for your life.
When I was in my 20’s, I crafted my personal vision statement. I started by thinking about what I wanted each of the key stakeholders in my life to say about me when I’m 80 years old. That set the stage for long term goals as well as how I wanted to achieve them. For example, achieving business success is in there, but it’s in there with the conditions of being well known as an expert at what I do, making an impact that outlives me and doing so with integrity. That implies values of hard work, continual learning, honesty and purpose. Each year I look at it and from time to time and over the decades I’ve revised it slightly. But the key things haven’t changed.
Identify your priorities.
Priorities will change from year to year depending on your stage of life and your near term goals and objectives. Some years require more focus on young children whereas other years may require more focus on elderly parents. Some years we may decidedly commit to a certain work assignment and consciously agree to increased hours or travel. Others may be the opposite. Each year I take a look at where my priorities need to be, how I’ve done in the past year and whether changes are needed. Eighteen months ago I realized that I was entering a period where we would have several family transitions. I cleared a number of commitments from my professional and volunteer schedule for that period of time to allow for the increased attention to family matters.
What would you like to be different a year from now?
This is a disguised goal-setting exercise. For the planners, you can put specifics and make out your S.M.A.R.T. goals, review them monthly and put a plan in place weekly to achieve them. (Yes, I confess, that’s what I do.) For those of you who dislike that degree of structure, think about what you’d like to achieve this year and how you can go about getting there. Then take one action that will get you going in the desired direction.
Evaluate your decisions and actions against your vision on a regular basis.
If part of your life vision is to run a business, are you accepting jobs and developing those skills that will get you closer to that vision? You don’t need to know the titles of every possible job along the way, but you do need to have an understanding of what skills are needed and what the likely path is to your vision.
If you’ve got a good understanding of your vision, and you assess and make your decisions with that vision in mind, you’ll always be headed toward your long term plan, no matter what your current job title. We can’t predict what specific companies, organizations or jobs will look like in five or ten years. But we can assess for ourselves what kinds of work we want to be doing, what lifestyle we want to live and how we want to be recognized and seen by others.
If long term career planning or even next step career planning is on your mind, stay tuned for updates on my Spring 2019 workshop, “Defining Your Career Next Step”.
Workshop for companies or departments going through change: “Taking Command of Your Stress Response” – This workshop is now available for private groups. If your company or department is struggling with low morale or incessant change which is impacting productivity and employee satisfaction, contact Susan for more info on this half day workshop. They will come away energized with new tools to use in and out of the workplace to enhance well being.
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our newly redesigned website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com
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Curious about how coaching can support your success in 2019? Sign up for a 20-min consultation at Women Leading Together to see if Individual Career and Executive Coaching is right for you! For more info email Susan.
The next Coaching Over Coffee series will start in February. Choose one at a time or a package of three. Click here to give your input on the next series of topics
Invite Susan to speak at your organization, conference, special event or women’s group. All presentations are an interactive experience where each participant will come away with something new to support her career. Click here for a sample list of topics.