5 career moves to make now… and get set for success in the new year.

With only a few weeks to go before Christmas and the summer break, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your career and where it is heading next year.

Yes… I know it’s a busy time and career planning may not be right at the top of your “to do list” but imagine if you were to go into the new year with a really clear vision of what you want to be doing and what you want to achieve.

Imagine hitting the ground running and being ahead of the game while everyone else is still shaking the sand out of their shoes.

All it would take is to put aside a little time now to reflect, ponder, plan and connect.

I have heard from many women this year that they feel stuck, disengaged and underwhelmed by the work they have been doing. They know that they want something different and are capable of more but are uncertain about what they need to do to create change.

Here are 5 actions to take now to set you up for career success in 2016.

1. Look back. Here’s the thing, so often we get so caught up in what’s next and looking forward we forget to look back and reflect. Before the year is out, look back on your accomplishments, the big projects, the big events and the goals you achieved.

What are you most proud of?

Think about the things you have learnt and the new skills have you mastered. Reflect on the people within your network who have contributed to your career this year. Have you let them know how import they have been to you this year?

Also look back on what you had hoped to achieve this year and ask yourself – did I achieve those things. If you didn’t; why not? Are those goals still relevant?

2. Decide what you want. So many people leave their career up to chance. For some, that works just fine. But for most people what usually happens is that at some point in their career they realise that they have ended up some place they would rather not be!

It is time to consciously create your career. If you don’t know what that is, then a good place to start is to decide whether you want to stay in your current role or to start your search for something new?

If you decide that staying in your current role is perfect for you right now, then think about what new skills and experience you will focus on obtaining in 2016.

Remember – if we are not growing, we will start to stagnate.

But maybe it’s time for a new role. If it is time… it’s likely, intuitively, you already know it. Yes, I know it might be easier or less effort to stay where you are, but way to often I see women staying in roles that have gone way beyond there use by date. In the long run this only leads to dissatisfaction, disengagement and unhappiness.  If you are still not sure what you want then this might help. 

3. Update your LinkedIn profile. Oh my gosh! It frightens me to discover how many people continue to neglect LinkedIn. Believe me when I say LinkedIn is a gold mine when it comes to career opportunities. OK… I hear you saying, I’m not looking for a new job right now so I don’t need to be on LinkedIn.

The truth is we all need to be on LinkedIn – with an up to date photo, a bit of information about each of your roles and a summary sections that makes you sound like a real life, interesting person.

Creating a presence and relationships through being on LinkedIn is like having insurance for when you are looking for a new role!

4. Nurture your network. This is pretty easy at this time of the year with the festive silly season in full swing.   Utilise this social time of the year to nurture your relationships or to create new relationships with key influences.

Pick up the phone and check in with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, organise a coffee or lunch date or send an end of year hand written note (yes, snail mail will have a huge impact) to express your appreciation for their support throughout the year.

People do business with and will support the careers of people they know, like and trust. Think relationships first, business second. The effort you put into nurture relationships now could pay real dividends for your career next year or the year after that.

5. Identify learning opportunities. All of the successful leaders I work with are committed to ongoing learning. They take the time to identifying areas of growth and invest in themselves. They are very aware that they can’t always rely on their organisation to provide the opportunities that will really make the difference to them personally.

What are your growth opportunities and what can you put in place next year to fill those gaps?



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