How many of you get the end of year fear? My definition of the “End Of Year Fear” is when you start to realise that it’s one month until the end of the year and you think: s**t what have I achieved? Where am I with my career? Is my business flourishing? What are my goals for next year? Am I happy? Am I on the right track? Have I taken ownership of my career development and progression?
Over the years, both when I have worked for a company or even more recently as an entrepreneur, I tend to wake up on the first of December in a mild panic thinking eeek, the year is nearly over and what have I accomplished? Yes, you are happy that it’s time to don a new festive wardrobe but how many of you consider how you can finish the year achieving your career goals/ on a high?
Here are my 3 coaching tips to ensure that you focus on where you currently are in your career. I want you to end 2017 pinpointing your goals, success and tackling any issues that are currently keeping you up at night. So here goes…
Tip 1: Reflection
How many of you take the time to sit down and reflect on your accomplishments?
We live in such a competitive world where we are all functioning/running at a hundred miles an hour. Juggling work, life, family, friends and health. When do you press pause and reflect on your career wins?
When I’m coaching my clients, I work with them to draw up a weekly or monthly list of “WINS”, now who doesn’t want to be a winner?! Think of all the achievements and accomplishments that have occurred in the past week, month or in this case, year. They can be simple, trivial, obvious, laughable or big scary beasts that have really pushed you out of your comfort zone. Here are some examples:
- Having an hour lunch break away from your desk
- Getting to work 30 minutes early
- Reading on your commute to work and not checking email
- Booking annual leave in order to have something to look forward to
- Signing a new £1 million account
- Winning an award for your firm
- Pushing back and saying no to your boss
- Asking for a pay rise
- Applying for a new job
- Getting an accountant to help with your tax returns
- Hiring an intern
- Calling, instead of emailing, a new potential client
These career wins should enable you to have a moment whereby you press pause, step out of the daily routine, get off the hamster wheel and give yourself a high five.
Why not take some time this month to reflect on your monthly or yearly wins in 2017 and continue adding more each day until the end of the year – create a ‘reflection calendar’ of wins.
Tip 2: Challenges
Ladies, let’s not be afraid to have some real talk. Having a successful career is no mean feat. It can be a super bumpy and scary rollercoaster ride. Whether you are climbing the corporate career ladder or trying to set up your own business venture, both of these worlds come with different challenges.
I remember struggling massively with ‘imposter syndrome’ when I was promoted to the role of Commissioning Editor at a very young age. In the first few months I spent most days in fear, worrying that I’d get fired. If I could have hidden under my desk I would have.
Why did I let all these emotions affect me? I’d interviewed for the role. I had been doing elements of the new job description for several years with no recognition. I was actually ready for the promotion and was oozing with unconscious competence. Surely they would not have given me a job if they didn’t think I was up to the challenge?
However when it was announced I let all my little gremlins infiltrate my mind and cause me to be fearful and paranoid. I transitioned to a state of unconscious incompetence, as I didn’t know how to do everything well yet. We all need to stop letting the whispers in our minds affect our success. Start by shedding your limiting beliefs and step up to the gauntlet. Additionally we need to say farewell to the pressures of perfection. Let’s stop fixating on always scoring top marks and being a 10/10. Instead, let’s work on climbing up the scale at our own pace.
Change is a scary thing and I know that having to step-out and step-up was a big one for me. If you are faced with challenges at work, think about how you tackle them. It could be a promotion, changing companies, having a crucial conversation with your boss or relocating to a different location.
My 60min Career Coach top tips:
- Instead of seeing a skills gap as a weakness, see it as an opportunity. Ask for more training and development.
- If you have no one to talk to about your daily struggles or worries get yourself a mentor. Seek out someone that inspires you, has walked a similar path and who can also act as an internal advocate for you.
- Ask. Why not actually reach out to your manager and peers for help and support? As the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
- Consider getting yourself a career coach who can support you on your journey.
Tip 3: Goals
Does this word scare or excite you?
For me being an ardent goal setter keeps me driven, focused and motivated. I know that my stringent goal setting helped shape my successful 10 year career in the television industry. It is goal setting that has enabled me to have a long and loving relationship with my husband. It is goal setting that gave me the strength and courage to branch out as an entrepreneur and set up my own business.
Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge and helps you to structure your time, energy and resources so that you can make the very most of your life.
How can you move forward in your life without dreams and goals?
Why not take some time this month and set your 2018 career goals? Make these goals visible by writing them down. This could be in a journal, daily notebook, as part of your to-do list or as post-its pinned up in your bedroom or bathroom. Give each goal a deadline and make sure you can see them everyday. Without a deadline a goal just becomes a dream.
Take time to think.
What do you want to accomplish, achieve and fulfil before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve 2017? I like to push my clients and get them to set a few career goals that will really force them out of their comfort zone.
When writing your list of goals, be it as an extensive list or a few bullet points, do make sure there is at least one goal that is a BEAST. This goal should scare the bejesus out of you. Imagine if you had to go out to a party without your Spanx?! If you were to share this goal with your family, friends, peers and colleagues; it should make them laugh out loud. There is a brilliant quote by Azim Premji that states,
“If people are not laughing at your goals. Your goals are too small”
Let’s make them laugh!
I would love to hear some of your career goals so if you are open to sharing or want a one-on-one session to work on your list then get in touch.