by Kristy Amburgey
Happy 2013! A new year is always a great time to evaluate your professional and personal development and goals. As 2013 begins, challenge yourself to evaluate where you are in your development and where you would like to be. As a job seeker, are you implementing the most recent job search developments and using them effectively? As a professional, are you on track for promotions and growth? In general, are you satisfied with your current professional situation, or do you want to make changes?
To help evaluate your progression, you should ask yourself questions that may be difficult to answer, but you need to take on this challenge to ensure you are working towards the achievement of your goals. Use these questions to initiate your evaluation process (please note that there are many other questions and topics to consider).
Do you know what you want? One of the hardest things to do is to work towards a goal that is not clearly defined. Do you know what job you want, what career step you want to take or what change you are seeking? It is important to have a clear picture of exactly what you want for each goal you plan to tackle this year.
Do you have a realistic picture of what you want? If you want a new job, do you understand the qualifications, company expectations, competition, salary and locations available? If you are looking to take that next step, do you know how your company promotes people, or have you asked for a general career progression plan for your role? If you are seeking change, do you know what to expect? The goals you set should be realistic, and you should have a true understanding of how that goal and its achievement will impact you and, if applicable, your family.
Are you using the best tools to reach your goals? As a job seeker, are you using the most recent and effective job search methods to find a job? As a working professional, do you have access to appropriate tools or trainings, or should you ask for them? What resources would make your transition easier? Before jumping into any goal completion or change, make sure you that you have the best tools, resources and information available.
Do you know how you are going to achieve your goals? As you define, refine and narrow your goals, do you know how you are going to get from point A to point B? Consider putting a plan in place that will give you step by step, short-term tasks to accomplish your long-term goal.
Do you have a support system in place? Encouragement, brainstorming, advice…these concepts are all ways that your family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and neighbors can support you, but really your support system can be anyone who is willing to help you in any capacity to achieve your goals. If you find that your system is mainly composed of family and personal friends, consider developing genuine professional relationships; your professional network can greatly impact your goals.
Do you know how you are going to reward yourself? Part of this process is celebrating your accomplishments. When you reach the next step in your plan, find a way to reward yourself…take a 15 minute nap, spend an hour on your hobby, host a fun event or drink the largest cup of coffee you can find.
Start your new year with a challenge. Figure out where you are in your professional development, either in a job search or looking towards that next big thing, and how you are going to achieve what you want. To help you with these goals, review resources available to you such as the Career Services website, the Going Places blog, external sites and more. In addition, use your network, mentors and personal advisors to help you evaluate and plan for your future. Even after asking these questions, continue to evaluate your plans and goals to ensure you stay on track, and don’t be afraid to revise your plans and goals along the way. Use 2013 to your advantage…it is a New Year after all and time for new goals.
Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.