Ok, my good people – we are now officially in the third quarter of 2017. While my head and heart sometimes feel stuck somewhere between 2011-2012, it’s time for all of us to pause and hit the reset button now on this year for our careers and lives. I’m going to share with you part of what I coach my clients to do at this time of year, and part of the method I use on myself for this time of year to make sure I’m heading in the right direction.
1. I pull out my personality CV – This I’ve discussed before, but it’s a listing and warehouse of all my personality test results over the past decade – Strengthsfinder, results from books like Designing Your Life, values assessment, and about 30-35 other tests I’ve taken on myself over time. You MUST begin with who you are before getting the map out and determining where you’re going–and to skip over this step is an atrocity to your future. So, pull out your personality CV and check it out again, objectively, to understand who you are and what makes you tick. Re-read it.
2. Next, pull out your goals – I have annual goals that I keep in my Moleskine notebook that I drag around with me. Wherever you keep yours (and I hope you wrote them down somewhere), pull them back out and take a look at them. How are you doing? What can you check off the list? (NOTHING makes me happier than marking a check against items on this list in particular, because they’re big ticket items.) Luckily, I got the chance to check off a couple July 1, but I’ve still. Got. A. Lot of work to do to achieve the rest of my goals for the year! Awareness again is key.
3. Update your resume/CV and LinkedIn profiles – Add the big achievements, take off the stuff you no longer want to return to, and edit. Ruthlessly. That last bit is really hard for me, because I personally like to have a lot of irons in the fire. And sometimes, it’s the irons that lead me down a different career pathway I never could have predicted. Either way – get all your personal job/career marketing materials on you up to date. And, important note on social media online, including your LI profile: it should have one foot in where you’ve been or where you are now, but it should also have another foot in where you want to head. If you don’t know where you want to head next, read on…
4. Reach out to 5 people in a new career direction, and try to meet them before the end of the year – This one may sound crazy – but after you do the first 3 steps above, I’m guessing that several of you may want something more for your career. Is something missing? Do you feel stuck? Are you burned out? Do you want to try something else? If so, reach out to 5 people doing the work you think you’d like to try next, and have lunch with them (or a phone call–and you buy lunch, BTW). Ask them what they love about their current work, and what drives them crazy about it, and what keeps them up at night. Then ask about education, certifications, and other experience that led them to the gig they have today. There’s creative license here too – don’t just focus on your day job. Focus on non-profit experiences you appreciate, or part time gigs, people who work at companies that you admire, or people who have started their own businesses or projects that have NOTHING to do with their day jobs (this last group is my tribe). Considering the # of 1099s by 2018 is still around 40%, I don’t believe we will be working in the future the way we do now. We’ll have a lot more affiliative associations and gigs rather than steady 9-5 work coming–for good or not so good. Prepare now for this epic change coming by putting feelers out in different areas of your own career zone. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
5. Reset your short term goals – I just share some of my 3Q goals online and on my email footers, so others can read what I’m up to and focused on. I try to make it easy for the universe to help a sister out…if my friends read my innocuous email footer and an idea pops into their head, they send me cool stuff around the work I’m doing. Make it easy for the universe to fetch you whatever it is that you’re seeking by this type of practice. If you’re a little more private about your stuff, share your goals with a trusted friend or inner circle member. The more you share it, the more the universe will help you out…I am a big believer in this.
There. I hope you found this helpful. As I went on my own bookcation this weekend, one of the things I read about was myself. It’s a complex story–a heroine’s journey, but it’s important to read and study in order to invent a better happy ending – and a rocking rest of 2017!
Erin Albert is president of HBA Indiana.