I don’t know about you, but September always makes me feel like starting afresh. Perhaps it’s the end of Summer, the beginning of Autumn and a change in weather. Perhaps it’s back to school and a return from the holidays.
Whatever it is, it’s a great time to reflect on your career in the year so far.
What have you achieved?
What have you yet to accomplish?
And are you on track with what you set out to do?
And on reflecting on the year so far, you can then consider what you need to complete before the year is out to reach your goals.
Here’s what you need to review in your career goals so far to stay on top of your 2021.
What were your goals at the beginning of the year?
Find that list you made at the end of last year and see what you can tick off.
What do you still need to do?
How long is your list? Is it never-ending or is it all ticking over and there’s just a couple of things that need to be completed?
Are the goals still relevant?
If your list is too long and you don’t think that you’re going to complete it before the year is out, what is not relevant? What can you drop?
Is there anything you want to add?
How have your career goals changed since then? How has your career changed? This question might be especially pertinent in 2021 when working life has changed in its head and you might be in a completely different job or position than you thought you would be.
Are you considering moving companies? Are you considering a career change? Are you considering a sideways move?
And if so, what do you need to do this year to help you move forward in that goal?
How are you going to achieve your goals?
Are you going to have to ask for help at work? Are you going to have to take on a new project? Learn something new? Or is it something you need to do outside your career?
How are you going to measure your progress?
Remember when creating goals to make them SMART so that you can measure them and benchmark them and see whether you’ve improved.
For all the goals that you have completed, remember to celebrate their completion and how far you’ve come!
And if you are someone who’s so on top of everything that you’ve completed everything you set out to do in 2021:
Here are some really easy goals to complete before the year is out that will stand your career in good stead.
1. Put together your personal brand
Personal branding is the process of optimising and managing the way you are presented to others. With qualifications becoming less valuable, and more and more applicants for every job, developing a personal brand, primarily through the internet and social media, is more important than ever.
Personal branding can give you a unique voice, a signature image and a recognisable standard that your customers, readers, and fans can recognise easily. Nowadays, audiences are more likely to trust other individuals than they are companies and large corporations, so even if you are acting on behalf of one of these, it’s more vital than ever to be the face. Personal branding can allow you to establish your identity and reputation on a more personal level of interaction, which builds this trust.
It’s likely that when you are invited for an interview or are being thought of as an ideal candidate for a role, the HR manager will Google your name, and make a judgement based on what they see. One way you can capitalise on this is to create a persona that sells yourself and what you want to achieve from your career, whether it’s short contracts or a permanent role.
2. Update your LinkedIn profile
It may just sound like another networking site, but if you want to stand out from the crowd and be the first in line to an interview, LinkedIn is the place to be.
87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates while 70% of employers use LinkedIn to vet candidates. So there’s no excuse not to have a profile and to keep on top of it.
Furthermore, recruiters on LinkedIn specifically use a product called ‘LinkedIn Recruiter’ whereby recruiters search for candidates via specific criteria, and LinkedIn uses this to create matches and organises these matches based on how likely they are to respond. This means that to get noticed, you need to use the same keywords that recruiters are using in their searches and spread these throughout your profile.
An optimised profile can result in a 132% increase in views and 3x the number of search appearances.
3. Learn a new skill
What would you learn?
If you have no idea where to start, and what you should be learning to move your career forward, our app iShine can help you identify where your strengths lie and where you need to develop your talents so that you stay relevant in your industry.
4. Have a career audit so you can start 2022 on a high note
What do you want to achieve over the next one, two or five years in your career? What do you need to do now to get there?
If you're not sure what you should be doing, now’s the time to put a plan together.
Once again, you can use iShine to help you identify your current skillset as well as what you need to develop to move into your chosen field. It can then help you to identify your needed skills, as well as where and how to gain them.
You can then chart your progress and put together a more long-term plan, which might also include finding out about side-steps in your industry using informational interviews, volunteering, or taking on different projects at work - what we call Branching Projects.
You can put these elements together to create a document for yourself that that breaks down your long-term goals, measures your success over different periods of time and helps you celebrate your wins, again using SMART goals.
What will the end of 2021 look like for you? Good luck with acing it until the end!