Wednesday 14 November, 2018

CAREER CORNER: New Year’s goals

Welcome to 2018!

Many years ago, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions- I don’t  have a list of things I’m going to stop doing, there is no list of behaviors that I “promise” to change- nothing like that. Instead, I have an “Action List’ of all the things I intend to accomplish. Plans to be executed. Goals to be achieved and how I expect to achieve them. This action list is for my personal life as well as my professional life, and I’ve found it to be quite useful.

As we begin 2018, I encourage you to examine where you are professionally, and to determine if your career is going in the direction that you want. If you find it useful, make a new year’s resolution with your career in mind. If you are so inclined, you may also make an ‘Action List’ of things you would like to accomplish in 2018. Here are a few action items for you to think about going forward…and to act upon….

- Make yourself ready for promotions and various opportunities at your current job. Discuss opportunities for more senior positions with your manager and prepare yourself (project assignments, training, job rotations etc.) to fit into those roles once they become available.

- Upgrade your skills (or learn new ones). If you believe that you are not as effective in your job as you could be and you need to upgrade your skills, then enroll in courses that will facilitate this. Online courses are always feasible options for persons who don’t wish to leave their jobs.

- If you need to go back to school to get a degree in your field, or in another field if you are switching careers- ensure that you submit your application in time for the upcoming academic semester.

- Network. Join Professional bodies or volunteer organizations, and meet persons in your field who may be able to guide you as you progress through your career and who can also share career opportunities with you.

- If you have decided that your current job is no longer enjoyable, you have lost interest, and there is no room for growth… then you may need to explore opportunities for employment elsewhere. Don’t stay in a job that is no longer fulfilling and not serving its purpose…

- If you no longer enjoy the traditional 9-5 and would like to start your own business….now is the time to do so. 

It’s a new year, and a good time to set career goals. Remember, it’s not a must that you make any changes, that decision is up to you. If you decide to make changes however, do so with clear career goals in mind and take the necessary steps to make them a reality.

I wish for you all good things in 2018!

Malaika T. Edwards is a Human Resources consultant and provides advisory services to individuals and business clients. She is also a PhD scholar at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she specializes in Human Resources and Workforce Development. You can contact her at malaika.edwards@yahoo.com, or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/malaika-edwards.