Another New Year's Eve gone by, and many of us may be looking dead ahead at another year full of the same old, same old. Some of us may be facing a new role, or a new job, some may be facing a job hunt, some may be facing graduation. However, most of us are just facing a hangover, and some already-failed-resolution to go to the gym more.
Rather than plowing ahead as if last year never happened, why not try these 5 things to ensure you are moving forward with clear eyes, and setting yourself up for the success in the new year:
1. Do a self-assessment
Most companies will do annual assessments, where you are required to do a self-assessment, looking back at your own performance. While these can (and should) be used as the basis for your own personal assessment, they do not cover anything. Of course, your performance at work is important, but ask yourself about other areas of your life as well. Did you achieve the right work-life balance? Did you network as much as you would have liked to? Did you take advantage of learning opportunities outside of work?
Tip: Create a template so you can do this at the end of each year!
2. Ask for feedback
Again, the official assessment period at work will most likely require your colleagues to offer their thoughts on your annual performance. These people are most likely hand picked and only have a certain perspective on your work. Make sure to reach out to professional colleagues from different walks of life. Do you advise on any projects? Volunteer for anything? Ask people outside of your team for their input on what you did well, or could do better next year!
Tip: set up a dedicated 30 minute session with a friend, where you provide mutual feedback, for maximum benefit!
3. Update your resume
I know, before you even finished that sentence, you groaned. And I know that it might seem unnecessary if you're not looking for a new job. However, if you make an effort to update your resume with your most up to date accomplishments and achievements over the past year, you are much less likely to miss something than you will be in 2-3 years when you're trying to think back on everything you accomplished while at your current job!
Tip: don't worry about the formatting, just make sure you capture the 3-5 achievements you're most proud of!
4. Make a forward-facing plan
Now that you've done a thorough look back on last year, start creating some personal and professional goals for the year ahead. Be sure to include work goals, networking goals, extra-curricular goals, and some personal goals as well! Take a look at your resume and figure out where there are gaps. What do you wish it said, and how can you make that happen in the new year?
Tip: create a rough timeline / plan for how you're going to accomplish these goals, and check in periodically throughout the year.
5. Set up New Year meetings
Finally, embrace the New Year as an opportunity to reach out to old contacts, colleagues, mentors and friends. Set up meetings with new people at work, or old colleagues from a past company. Collaborate with new minds as to next steps in your career, and your life! Take on this new year with gusto, and lean on those around you to help catapult you into 2016!
Tip: use the New Year as an excuse to reach way back into your proverbial roll-a-dex to someone from 5 years ago, even!