Take stock of where you are and where you want to be.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I’m all for meaningful change. Developing a laundry list of things to do more or less of in the coming year is a setup for failure.
Regardless of whether you had a burning ceremony or created a vision board, you still carry your professional challenges into the new year with you. This isn’t always a bad thing; in fact, these frustrations can inform how you move forward in your work. Use 2018 to take stock of your career and assess how you’d like to grow or change up your role this year and beyond.
Use the challenges of 2017 to your advantage. What’s actually been bugging you? Determine the root of your frustrations: Is your manager really the problem or have you outgrown your role and feel boxed in? Are you overwhelmed by your workload or is the problem that you aren’t actually doing what you love or excel at?
Figure out your superpower. Work with a coach or take an assessment test to determine your particular talent. You might discover it’s a skill you take for granted or think is run of the mill. Trust me. It’s not. Armed with this knowledge, zero in on roles and opportunities that leverage your special sauce.
Determine what tasks you really like to do. I have a friend who loves all the minutiae of running a business: setting up a business checking account, filing incorporation paperwork and quarterly taxes, basically all the stuff that gives the rest of us headaches. So she started a consulting business to assist new small business owners. Personally, I love managing projects, but not people, so consulting on detail-oriented projects in a team environment is my jam. I forfeited the salary and benefits that come with being a department head, but I don’t have to deal with one-on-ones and annual reviews.
Create an overarching intention. Seek balance, think abundantly, take risks, assert yourself, persevere in all things. Keep this intention front and center on a daily basis. Make it your screen saver or home screen, post it near your workspace and keep your eye on the prize.
Get granular. Once you’ve assessed your current job frustrations, unique skills, and desired responsibilities, create a work-back schedule with small weekly deliverables to move you closer to your professional goals. If you want to start a consulting business, hire a business coach, reach out to prospective clients, apply for a business license, build a website, etc. If you want a new job, network, brush up your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and seek out companies where you’d like to work.