New Year, New Career, New You

Professional woman happy in her career

How can any of us resist the urge to reinvent ourselves with the turning of the calendar? Jump on the bandwagon—there's plenty of room here among the hopeful, the determined, and the motivated.

Do Some Inner Exploration

Man reflects on his career in the new year


First, consider this a fresh start for you. What are you seeking as you dream about your next career opportunity? Some enticing ideas that often appear in my initial conversations with clients include:

  • Autonomy: The freedom to embark on creative projects, to dictate your own time, to put your attention where you're drawn.
  • Meaning: At the end of the day, knowing that where you're spending your time matches your values at a basic level.
  • Connection: Working alongside people who get you, who respect you, who say "thanks" every now and then.
  • Engagement: Dialing into what you're doing, using your brain, your intuition, and your other talents.
All of these possibilities are compelling, but before you press down on the gas pedal and drive out of where you are right now, ask yourself whether it's your environment that's creating the lack of these qualities, the boundaries (or lack thereof) that you put in place, or possibly the underlying ideas you have about yourself and your own worth and power.
Usually, it's a combination of all of these factors, and if you can pull apart the company, your boss, your co-workers, and other dimensions of your environment which you're unconsciously creating by playing out old scripts, then you're ready to move to the next phase of the process.

Articulate The Most Important Qualities You Want

Woman writes down her career goals for the new year


Make a list of what you want in your new career. Imagine that you're single and you're searching for a new romantic partner. Sit down and write a list of 10-15 qualities you're seeking.

Next, get very specific about three more categories:

Reach Out And Build Your Sphere Of Connections

Man reaches out to and reconnects with his professional network in the new year


Strategically expand your circle to be in purposeful conversation with people who can offer intel on the companies and positions on your list.

For those of you who cringe at the idea of asking for help (particularly when it seems like you're almost using people), if you've been networking the right way all along, it shouldn't feel uncomfortable. Networking, maintaining, and building your professional connections is about providing value. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you shouldn't ask for their help right away. Establish a relationship first. Once you do that, they'll be more than willing to help you in your career because they know you'd do the same for them.

Whatever you want out of life and your career, you can accomplish. A year from now, you really can be in a completely different spot, one that resonates more deeply for you. So, what are you waiting for? Start making changes today!

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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