What kind of year will 2018 be for your career? Will you make progress, mark time, or fall behind?
Do you feel stuck in a dead-end job, with limited opportunities to advance? Are you waiting for your boss or HR to manage your career? Have you interviewed for a promotion a few times, but haven’t gotten selected? Do you love your job, but know it’s time to move on? Are you already on the hi-po track, but need to stand out in the pile?
You have more control than you think over the outcomes in your career. Don’t look back with disappointment. Make the most of this year, starting now.
A shift in mindset can give you the power to make change happen.
Following are six often overlooked ways to shift your mental power to ensure 2018 is a banner year for you, and questions you can ask yourself to get on the right track.
1. Find happiness
Success is hard to come by if you’re not happy in your life and work. True happiness starts within. Consider who and what are important to you. Carve out time to spend with the special people in your life. Make room for things you like to do. Though you won’t always have work-life balance, there are times when you can create it. When things are going well in your personal life, you can better focus on and create happiness at work.
- Who / what is important in my life?
- Who / what drains my energy and happiness?
- At what points am I most happy?
2. Commit to a positive, can-do attitude
Negative people are always complaining… “I can’t”, “That’ll never work”, “We’ve always done it this way.” Don’t let that be you. With a positive, can do attitude, you’ll have more friends and opportunities in your career. Your attitude impacts not only others, but also how you feel about yourself and what you can accomplish.
- What kind of attitude do I bring to work every day?
- What negative self-talk keeps me from believing in myself?
3. Set short-term career goals
To consistently make progress, set smaller, shorter-term goals that are stepping stones toward your longer-term career goals. Setting short term goals will help you make decisions about your work, development priorities, and sought experiences.
- What do I want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
- What experience and expertise do I need to gain this year in order to make progress toward my career goals?
4. Choose to lead
Titles don’t make the leader, your actions and ‘how’ you engage others make you a leader. You don’t need a title to be accountable for achieving business results or to influence others. Take initiative to speak up or ask the tough questions. Take action when you see something needs to be done. Don’t wait to be asked. Influence others to engage in solving problems and getting things done.
- What opportunities do I have to step up and be a leader?
- In what situations might I need to influence others, especially where I don’t have direct authority?
5. Set personal stretch goals
You’ve probably established official goals for the year with your manager. If you want to stand out, you need to go beyond that. Your stated performance goals are really minimum expectations. Strive to hit the ball out of the park, not just run all the bases. Your track record of execution is the foundation for future career opportunities.
- What can I reasonably accomplish beyond my stated performance goals?
6. Live in the present
Avoid missing out on life because you’re always wondering ‘what if’…. “If only I had this.” “If I just had that job.” Enjoy ‘life’ where you are. Be grateful. Make the most of what you have and where you are right now. Stop wishing your life away with what could be, and take advantage of ‘what is’. You are given 1,440 minutes each day. Appreciate the gift of each moment.
- Am I truly appreciating where I am right now?
- What are all the things I can be grateful for?
Take the next step
Want to see progress? Challenge yourself to try each of these strategies.
Find out what a difference your intention will make in fueling your career forward!
Download my guide to check out the 5 practical steps you can take to ensure career success in 2018, plus the questions you can ask yourself to get you on the right track. As a bonus, you’ll get a My Reflections & Action Ideas planner to help you get started.