I know … it’s maybe a bit early, but are you ready to say good bye to 2013? Was it a good year for you, or the worst of times? Don’t stress it, it’s soon a thing of the past. Why don’t you start early this time to set a plan for your personal growth in the New Year?
Here are Thejobsearchcoach Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions to move you forward in your work and your career.
#1 Be a Finisher
I bet you know of those guys who love to talk but don’t be one of them. Anybody can start projects. It’s your mission for 2014. You will be known as a finisher; the one who gets things done and makes things happen. A closer. A killer. You’re in the ‘Doing” not in the “Being” space. You are in the Zone.
If you have a To Do list longer than 10 items, you’ll need to work late to get it all done, or become more realistic when you create your list. Learn to understand what the priorities are and focus on those. You should have a TO DO list where you can count your must do priorities on one hand. Decide what actions you can take and finish that will have the greatest impact now, for the short term. Put your long term and less important To Do priorities on your other hand.
# 2 Take Charge of your Position
Improve and master your job. Understand how your position can deliver great value to the business and to your boss. Don’t wait to be told how to do this.
Know the details, the costs, the ROI… No forget ROI! Real workers deliver ROE = Return on Everything. Seriously! 2014 is your year, so know the results of your work.
#3 Know your Boss’s Priorities for your Position
Most of the time, your boss is your biggest asset, and maybe your biggest liability. But you can deal with both by focusing on ‘the right attitude and behaviour’ for 2014. It is the one and only thing you can control so bring your best to work every day. Start the new year by understanding what your boss needs from your position. Why does your job exist? What does the business need from your position? The best time to get a casual chat in with your boss is now. Try the Xmas party for starters.
If your boss doesn’t want to talk about it, then you need to figure this out for yourself. If you need to, ask your boss to explain to you why, fundamentally, your position exists. This is your baseline.
#4 Do More Than What is Expected of You
Start by truly delivering on what your boss needs from you. But chances are your boss is expecting more but too busy to talk to you in depth. He or she may be trying not to overwhelm you with too much. That’s ‘the 2014 Opportunity’ for you. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Make the next year work for both of you. You must know about some things that need to get done in your department, but that aren’t getting done. Just do it. If your boss doesn’t want you to do it, he or she’ll tell you. But your boss would like it done and didn’t ask for it, well then you are on the road to being great value in 2014!
#5 Celebrate your Success
Set achievable tasks and goals and regularly celebrate them. Toot your own horn! Most managers can’t keep track of everything you’re doing for the business. But 2014 is the year for you to make absolutely certain your boss knows what you’re accomplishing.
I am serious! Read that sentence over. This is a huge key to success.
Make a regular list of the noteworthy things you have completed and write this as a message or email to your boss. Just bullet points! If you have a regular meeting time with your boss, ask for permission to start with your list. Don’t wait for the question, “what are you working on?”, because if that question pops in 2014, you, my friend, have a BIG problem. Make sure that your managers never wonder what you are doing. You can fill your boss’s head with positive thinking if you set a goal every week or fortnight and tell your boss what it is. If he or she wants your focus elsewhere, then you have just advanced your understanding of his or her priorities.
#6 Ask “What Else Can I Do to Help You?”
This is my personal favourite and it’s so often done wrong. Who do you ask, your co-workers? No, you ask your boss. If you spend too much time helping your co-workers, your boss is most likely going to ask you why you aren’t focused on your own work unless, of course, your department is full of duds. It is your job to knock your boss out with great work. If you have lots of time to help co-workers, then you may not understand your job or you may need to ask yourself why your job isn’t keeping you busy (go back and re-read #2, 3 and 4).
#7 Accept Instructions – Stop Getting Defensive
Chances are good that your boss knows more than you do, at least about significant aspects of the business. I know it’s hard to accept for some, especially if there is a large age difference, and it also sometimes seems like a stretch, but just accept that your boss has a lot to teach you. If you have a good boss this won’t be a problem as there will be lots that you can learn, and if he or she is not well suited for the role, well, I still want you to accept them as your superior. Suck it up – but be positive and bright! You see, if you have a weak boss, you have a great opportunity to help them. Become a genuine asset to them. Help them succeed. You could gain a new friend, maybe discover something new about your Manager and if you’re good without being sneaky and narky, your boss’s superiors will notice. If they don’t, you should probably find a new place to work or learn how to toot your own horn a bit more (see #5).
#8 Set a Picture of Your Success Every Day
You don’t have to be overly creative to visualise your own success. It’s the sort of thing people do each time they buy a lotto ticket. But the difference is that you are in charge – it is not a ‘luck’ situation. Sounds weird or a bit too flaky? I assure you, it’s a powerful action you can take to achieve your goals. Think it – or dream it – and visualise it first. It only takes a minute or two in the morning or at night before you go to sleep. Close your eyes and see your boss congratulating you on your great work. Hear your manager saying “Thank you.” Hear your peers saying “Congratulations!” Feel yourself shaking their hands or that clap on your shoulder or the toast to your health when you raise the glass to celebrate an achievement.
Why not visualise yourself at this time next year saying to a friend, “2014 was a great year!”
#9 Write Your Top 5 Goals for the Year
You do have written goals for your life, don’t you? Did you also write your top five ‘make a difference’ goals for your year at work. This is the age of contribution and value. It is the age of social media and ‘sharing’. I suggest that you consider doing something that truly makes a difference and preferably a difference to someone else. Volunteering or Pro Bono work could be a start for that. You don’t have to do much. But, I know from years of volunteering and Pro Bono work that you will grow and improve your life.
#10 Be a Positive Achiever!
I also know from personal experience, that you will improve your chances to celebrate, if you set small and achievable goals instead of big long term projects. You will enjoy the work more when you celebrate the small successes and the perception of you as a co-worker or employee will change as people see you as the guy who regularly celebrates success. People like to be around positive achievers, so in 2014 be patient, be positive and stay focused on the progress you’re making. You will still stumble occasionally; just accept your mistakes. Turn your learnings into something positive. That’s something you can celebrate!
So, on that note, take a break! Enjoy the Festive Season and prepare yourself early for 2014. Get active – do stuff and participate. Maybe start by providing some positive and helpful comments here on TJSC. And, when you go out there remember to hunt wisely!