It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day at our jobs where we keep up with everyday tasks and crises that need our attention. But, it’s important to reserve some time each year to focus on a few things that help you reflect on where you are and plan for where you want to go. Your future self will thank you for your focus on these 10 things that help set you up for success and growth.
“Some days in the daily grind it seems like it’s all we can do is keep up with everyday tasks and crises that need our attention. But, it’s important to reserve some time each year to focus on a few things that help you reflect on where you are and plan for where you want to go. These are the 10 things to do at work at least once a year.
1. Record your accomplishments
When it’s time to prepare for that performance review or update your resume, you will be happy that you recorded your accomplishments each year. When you track your accomplishments at work, you have a tool to help you articulate the value you bring to the organization which can help backup a request for additional compensation. Keep in mind, your accomplishments aren’t just about awards you received (yes, those should be tracked), but it should also include how you exceeded expectations, overcame obstacles and difficult situations.
2. Reflect on your current circumstances
Even if you love your job, it’s a good idea every year to reflect on what specifically you love about it. Get your mind around what you’d like more of in your job or what you want less of. There’s always something to improve, so contemplate how you would like to progress in your current role. When given the opportunity to chart your own career path, it’s helpful if you are clear about the current state of affairs.
3. Check and prepare for automation (the 4 Ds of dull, dirty, dangerous and dear)
Automation is infiltrating our workplaces and if your job hasn’t been impacted yet, it likely will see some changes soon. Most will agree that if a robot can do tasks more safely and accurately, faster and less expensively that humans, those tasks will shift to machines. Instead of robots completely taking over from humans, new jobs that don’t exist today will be created that will allow humans to do what they’re best at—tasks that require creativity and emotional intelligence.
4. Clean out your files
At least once a year, be sure you archive files from your computer that are no longer needed and do the same with any paper files. The more streamlined and organized you are, the more effective you will be on the job. And, it’s easy for your filing to get out of hand if you don’t devote some time each year to clear out the clutter.
5. Consider what the future looks like
If the only thing that’s constant is change, this applies to your job as well. Gone are the days when most people will spend decades at the same job or company. So, it behooves you to keep your eye on the future and how you want your own professional trajectory to evolve. When doing so, be sure you take into account career and job trends. The more thoughtful you are about the realities of the future, the better you’ll be able to chart a course to get there.
6. Identify gaps in your skill-set and start a plan to close them
As a way to better position yourself for the future job marketplace, take stock of what new skills you want to cultivate—the more transferable skills, the better. Do you want to become a better speaker? Maybe it’s time to join a speaking group. Every year you should be proactively improving your skill-set to enhance your contributions at your existing job and be ready when it’s time to find something new.
7. Grow your network
Never underestimate the power of new connections. You can improve key relationships inside your organization and also identify who outside your organization you’d like to connect with. It’s advantageous to have a broad network to help you gain new perspectives and knowledge.
When you give your time and skills to others, it benefits not only your community, but you will be impacted positively for the experience. By extending yourself to others you can also make new connections and gain experience that helps you serve others inside your organization today. There’s never any harm in volunteering multiple times a year either.
9. Cultivate your personal brand
There are many ways you can influence your personal brand. Your personal brand is the way you articulate and sell your unique mix of talents and experience. No matter what you decide to do, just make an effort each year to create some content whether it’s a blog, podcast or live video to build your personal brand. This can also include ensuring your LinkedIn profile is updated.
10. Do something that scares you
If you’re not on the edge doing something that pushes your comfort zone, you’re not growing enough. Therefore, don’t let a year go by without doing something that scares you. Once you stretch your limits, you will have something to be very proud of, another thing everyone should do at work at least once a year.
What would you add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.
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