Like sprinters accelerating after the blast of a starter’s gun, this week marks for some a rush to get things going toward a new job, a new employer, and/or a new career. The New York Times, for example, has a piece yesterday called Getting Back in Shape for the Job Chase. There is a reason the we feel this way: it’s a New Year and that implies a new start.
But there are ways to make sure you accomplish things, as well as ways to get yourself derailed. Here’s an outline for you to follow to be more successful in your new year thinking, as well as things to avoid that lead you to perform not as well.
- Have you cleaned up your loose ends? Trite perhaps to say, but dangling odds and end and old stuff that either needs to be finished or put to rest is the sort of thing that prevents people from moving on to new projects. As Roger von Oech might suggest, get rid of excuses. Focus comes in part from minimizing the number of things you think about: get rid of the stuff that distracts you.
- Have you said goodbye to 2009 and cleared things off to start 2010? 4 Simple To-Do’s to Give You a Great Start to 2010 outlines ways to do both.
- Have you done your home work on YOU? Hard to figure out where you’re going to go if you don’t know what you’ve go. Know Yourself gives you a proven outline of key steps in any job / employer / career search.
- Anyone else that needs to be involved? Decisions often involve – or should involve – others. Families and friends are usually an important part of the mix when you think about new steps. Some savvy folks even have a “board of advisors” – people they use to bounce off ideas – that they talk things through before they start working on any significant career or job change goals. Are these goals reasonable for me, for example, is something that they might ask of those advisors.
- Does whatever I want to do make sense in my larger personal story? A career is in part a series of jobs and roles: the overall narrative is what holds that story together. The best candidates, from my experience running large staffing operations, are those candidates who have a personal story that makes sense . You can tell from the recruiting side how the job or role fits into what you (the employer) is trying to fill. Candidates that have, as my former colleague Diane Lumley would say, a “dog’s breakfast” of all sorts of odds and ends of roles and jobs tossed together without much rhyme or reason make less sense – and may make you less attractive as a candidate.
There is an adage “no goals, no glory” that sticks in mind when you think about starting a new year. Like that sprinter who visualizes every step of a race – including crossing the finish line – thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2010 now is a powerful tool to help you accomplish your goals successfully.