The end of the year is a big time of reflection and change; it’s normal to think about what’s happened over the past year and what’s coming for the next year. In December, companies give end-of-year bonuses, look at their budgets, and engage in strategic planning. As an individual, it’s also a good time for you to take a look at your career and see how things are going.
At a minimum, everyone should take a moment to look back on the last 12 months. Don’t just think about it, but report on what you’ve done. This can be private, like updating your resume, or public, like updating your LinkedIn. What’s happened in the last year in terms of your career? How do you feel about that?
If you’re unhappy with your job or considering a move in the new year it’s a good time to dig up your employment agreement. Revisit your compensation plan and think of the financial implications of a move, because it’s rarely $0. If you’re still owed a $20,000 bonus that you won’t get if you leave, perhaps you may want to delay when you switch jobs. A lot of variable compensation happens at the end of the year – make sure you take that into account.
If you’re happy with your job, take the opportunity to preemptively schedule a review meeting with your boss. If you’re thinking about asking for a raise, get some coaching from a mentor, recruiter, or coach in your area, as this is a delicate dance. Talk to coworkers and see if they’ve asked for a raise with any success since every organization is different.
It’s also a good time to check in with your mentors and mentees. How are they doing? Try to find time for a call or meeting.
For most corporate workplaces, things slow down during the holidays. This presents a good opportunity for some housekeeping. Clean up your database. Send notes to people in your contacts you haven’t touched base with in a while. Holiday cards are great, but reaching out in a more strategic personal way will go a lot farther. It’s a time of transition for everyone so it’s a good time to reinforce relationships.
If you set goals last year, reflect on them. How did you do? If you didn’t, it’s also a good time to make a plan for the coming year. Set some specific, measurable, achievable goals. These aren’t New Year’s resolutions that will peter out in six weeks, but actual things you want to achieve in the next year.
“Get better at closing deals.”
“Be more communicative with my network.”
“Be more accountable.”
“Improve my conversion rate from x to y by June 1.”
“Have a 30-minute Zoom meeting with a top person in my network once a month.”
“Schedule bi-weekly meetings with an accountability partner.”
A few other things you might do at the end and/or beginning of the year:
- Check your habits. Are they serving you well? If not, make adjustments as necessary. We love James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. He also has a great newsletter!
- Check your physical health. Your physical health affects your mental and emotional health so much! Time for the gym?
- Pick a new resume template. Send it to a recruiter and ask them to review it.
- Make a reading list and set a schedule.
- Unsubscribe from all the email newsletters you don’t read.
- Schedule some time with a financial planner to set or check in about your financial goals.
We often make big decisions around milestones. Decade birthdays, end of the year, beginning of year… Look at your life and be honest with yourself about what’s working and what’s not.
Can we help? We would be happy to take a look at your resume or offer some advice on asking for a raise. Or if you’re ready to move to a new position, we would love to help you find the right one. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 877.Hire.Edu.