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Mind the Gap

New Year – New You!

Posted by Amanda Whiteford

2020 is just around the corner and, while new years’ resolutions may not be your thing, the Christmas break does give you an excellent opportunity to sit back, relax and reflect on your career and what you’d like to achieve from the year ahead. So, consider the following options and see which one would help you return to work feeling reinvigorated about your career development.

Reconnect with colleagues you’ve not seen for a while whether in your current organisation or from previous organisations. The festive season is a perfect excuse to contact someone out of the blue, perhaps fuelled by memories of past parties, work projects you enjoyed or something else. So, if you have their email, mobile number or LinkedIn why not say hello, ask them how they are and say something about what made you think of them again, and suggest a coffee or meet-up?

Does your work wardrobe need refreshing? Do the colours you wear really suit you and make you look healthy and energetic? You’d be surprised how many of us pay little attention to this but wearing the colours that suit us most, especially near our face, can make a big difference in how others perceive us – this applies as much to neckties as to scarves, shirts or dresses. So maybe treat yourself to a session with an image consultant to see if you are maximising the power and impact of your wardrobe, then visit the sales to see what little extras will make the difference you want to achieve.

What single development goal would make your job easier in the new year? Do you have a problematic stakeholder with whom you struggle to engage? Or a team member who’s lacking motivation? Or a project which would be easier if you used different software? Whatever it is, tying in a development goal to a work goal creates a win:win solution. So instead of making a new years’ resolution book that course, or a coffee with a mentor, to help you add that new skill quickly to your toolbox and get ahead on your to-do list next year.

Is there an awkward conversation you’ve been putting off for a while? Why not use some of your time over Christmas thinking about how you could structure that conversation. You could use my favourite acronym www.ebi (what works well, even better if) if it’s about a colleague’s approach to work. Or think about how you might acknowledge a long-standing problem by owning that you should have spoken up before but that this year you’d like things to be different and why. Then work with your colleague to mutually solve the issue together so you can both benefit.

Finally, is there a career move you’ve like to work towards, but your workload never seemed to allow the time? In which case book some time to talk to your manager in the new year. Make sure you let them know what it is you want to talk about, how much of their time you’d like and, if possible, hold the conversation in a different location to normal, so neither of you are pulled back into discussing your workload!

The festive season is the perfect time to reflect on your career and what you want from the year ahead, so make sure you not only give yourself the time to think but to act too. After all, as the advert says, ‘You’re worth it!’