career in gearWhen’s the last time you stepped back and really took inventory of your career? Do you have a solid plan? How will you ensure this year is better than 2015? Are you waiting for your manager or mentor to help?

Don’t miss the opportunity to make 2016 remarkable. Here are few ways to get your career in gear in the new year. 

Identify one fear to overcome.

We’ve all got them–the one area of our life that would improve if only we weren’t too scared. How would your career (and life) improve if this were the year you got past it? Start by writing it down. This year I’ll have the courage to _______. Then tell someone about your plan. The best way to build real confidence is to succeed at something that scares you.

Take an honest inventory of what’s working and where you’re stuck.

What were the three behaviors that most helped your career and your professional brand in 2015? Which three behaviors got in the way? What, specifically, can you do to continue more of the beneficial behaviors and reduce (or eliminate) the non-productive or career damaging ones?

Update your LinkedIn profile.
Yes, you should. I’m working with a company now that recently announced an 8000 person reduction. Many of those folks now scrambling to build the next phase of their career have admitted that they hadn’t really worried about their LinkedIn profile before. Here are some hints to get you started.

Identify your big win.
You have lots of goals and objectives to achieve this year, I get that. But it’s worth identifying the one area where you’re going to absolutely turn heads. What will you achieve this year that will be worth a champagne toast and others swarming to you to learn your secrets?  What can you and your team achieve that will really change the game? If you manage people, this is a great conversation to have in one of your first meetings of the year.

Clear out the clutter.
A Gartner survey found that an average employee can spend up to $4800 just looking for stuff. Now before any of my awesome administrative assistants who’ve supported me over the years start leaving pithy comments, let me admit I’m terrible at this. So, instead of telling you how…. here’s a nice resource on the topic.

Build a networking plan.
Make a list of people you would like to know better, and identify one way you can help them or make their job easier.  Imagine the possibilities if you took a deliberate approach to getting to know a bit more about the folks you encounter as you go through your day (on the plane, at the gym, in that class you’re taking).

Make your reading list.
A study from the University of Sussex found that reading as little as six minutes a day can reduce your stress levels by 68%.  Most CEOs I know read (including me) read at least four books a month.  Of course I recommend Winning Well for April (learn why here). Inc also has an interesting list of books recommended by high-profile CEOs.

Get feedback

Whether you use a simple DIY approach to 360 development or invest a little more in a formal process, the best way to improve is to truly understand the perceptions of others. 360s can help you identify small behavior changes that can go a long way in building trust and improving communications.

You have the power to make 2016 remarkable.

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