How To Finish 2015 Strong

Career

With just a few weeks left in 2015, you need to continue to think about what you want for you and your career in 2016. Especially during the holidays, it can be a challenge to stay on track. I typically take vacation from Christmas to New Years to wind down and recharge for the next year.

Even though I may be recharging, I’m laser focused on next year. First, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. (I wrote about that last year.) But I am focused on what I need to achieve in 2016.

Here is a short list of things you should be thinking about now so you’re ready to execute in January…

  • What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Is this the year you make a job change or are you going to make an entire career move? You probably have a bunch of metrics or performance objectives at work. Sometimes those are the same things you want to accomplish overall, but I try to think of very “me” centric things I want to accomplish. Last year on my list was to give back to the community. I really didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I wanted to. In March, I realized that this website was the best way I could do that. The point being, you may not know exactly how you’re going to execute on the idea but know what you want to accomplish is important.
  • Write down your top 3 action steps for January. One of the big problems with resolutions, goals, etc. is that we don’t actually do anything with them. The idea of writing down something for you to do in January is to kick-off the action of moving towards your goal. If you want a new job, go setup an alert in Indeed.com for some keywords you’d like to look out for. Whatever it is, make it actionable.
  • Figure out what you don’t like doing or what you shouldn’t be doing, and then take steps make changes. (See posts here and here.) It’s too easy to make excuses. Now is the time to strategize about how to make things happen in 2016.
  • Make a list of people to connect with. Maybe that’s connecting with some old co-workers or finding a new network of people headed in the same direction you are. A few years ago, I put get involved in OWASP on my list. All of the sudden I’m the chapter leader for our local chapter.
  • Commit to it. Write it down, put it on a post-it note on your computer. Do whatever works for you to remember these things. For many Decembers, I would create methods and processes just to remember my goals. Folders, color coded, the whole 9 yards. It didn’t work for me. It probably works for others. Whatever works for you, do it.

Life goes by too fast and it’s too easy blink and watch 2016 fly by. Even if you take just 60 minutes in December, it could be hugely impactful in 2016.