If you read last week’s blog post, you saw that Secret #1 to achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to be specific. But you may be stuck on what that really means and how to apply it to your career goals.
Start by defining what success looks like for you or as Stephen Covey says with Habit 2 “Begin with the end in mind.” The more clarity you have around what you are trying to accomplish will result in a more specific action plan to get you to that final outcome.
Many professionals are seeking to enhance their current job performance by gaining new knowledge or new skillsets. McCall, Lombardo, and Eichinger state: “Development generally begins with a realization of current or future need and the motivation to do something about it. This might come from feedback, a mistake, watching other people’s reactions, failing or not being up to a task – in other words, from experience. The odds are that development will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences - working on tasks and problems; about 20% from feedback and working around good and bad examples of the need; and 10% from courses and reading.”
So, taking a class or reading a book or article will help you gain knowledge on a topic, but it is through application of that knowledge where you will reap the benefits within your career. One example from the 20% bucket is:
Meet monthly with a mentor to learn how to use business reports to increase my/my team’s productivity by 5%.
An example from the 70% category is:
Work with a coach bi-weekly to assess the effectiveness of my communication strategy with my boss to influence decision-making within my area of expertise.
If you desire a career change, your specific goals may look more like:
Expand my network by 3 new contacts per week with individuals in the industry to which I want to move.
Manage an end-to-end project within my current role in Q1 to enhance my assessment skills and project management skills for the role in which I want to move next.
These are just a few examples of specificity in writing out your goals. Take a look back at your own. If they are too vague, I challenge you to re-write them. Spending a little time now in defining how you will move forward in your career development will pay off in the end!
Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers. She helps them uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world. Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education. Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!