Are you reflecting on your career at the end of the 2018? Are you satisfied with the progress you have made? Does 2019 offer you the platform you need to convert your potential into achievement? Do you have the best people on your side to support and mentor you through the challenges and choices you will meet in 2019?
At the end of the year, we reflect on our progress. It's a traditional time to evaluate and make resolutions. There are triggers for reflection like the evaluation processes that run in many organizations, and professional discussions like objective setting and development plans that set us thinking about what we expect of ourselves for the future.
For most of us, the end of the year provides a natural break to reconsider the promises we have made to ourselves and others. We have the time to talk and think ahead with the people who are close to us. It's a time when the expectations we have set are revisited and progress evaluated - maybe we are challenged on the New Year Resolutions we declared last year. It’s a time of reckoning.
I’m a Career Coach. In late December and early January, I receive the highest number of new inquiries from private individuals about career coaching – from people who want to invest in their own or their partner's career development. They come from three broad groups of motivation:
Have they reflected over the holidays and discovered a new ambition, desire or objective? Some did. They have had a successful year and want my support to make an intentional, purposeful start to the New Year – to go further or pivot in a new direction.
Have they realized they are in a career crisis and resolved to take action? Again, some did. This group usually comes with a trigger experience, often quite a shock: suddenly, they have been fired or made redundant; their year end appraisal conversation was dramatically different from last year or the informal feedback they had been receiving, or another form of feedback like a bonus, promotion or salary news surprised them. This group is expecting career counseling to diagnose “Why did this happen to me?” and an action-oriented, fast resolution to get back on track.
The third group has been the largest number each year. They are not in crisis or bounding from success to success. They fall in between and may express there dissatisfaction like this:
- I feel stuck.
- I lack momentum: I have lost connection with why I am working here.
- I have lost my way: I am going round in circles.
- I am working in a declining industry. My good colleagues are losing or leaving their jobs.
- I don’t have the skill-set that I need for progress. They never ask me.
- I feel short-changed: there are no opportunities for me.
- I don’t enjoy what I do or the life I have, but I can survive.
- I am not happy with my progress: my career is going nowhere.
- I am overlooked for advancement. I don’t have a supervisor/patron/mentor looking out for me.
Mostly this group’s motivation for change comes from the conversations with their spouse, family and friends – mostly the spouse. After the awareness of the feelings of dissatisfaction, the partner’s call to action is “What are you going to do about it?”
So, what are You going to do about it?
It’s a reasonable question. How will you answer that question over the holidays? How will you get Unstuck in 2019? What are you going to do about it?
- Who is the new you that you will take to work in January?
- What new conversations will move you forward?
- What new relationships will you build?
- What roles do you want to do?
- What will you say to your boss?
- What new perception do you want your colleagues to have of you?
- What new behaviors do you want to display?
- What behaviors do you want to stop?
- What do you and your role look like at the end of 2019?
Will you answer those questions with action in 2019?