The end of the year presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on your career. You may have started a new role during the year or been in your role for some time. Whichever is the case for you, the down time at Christmas offers ample time to reenergise and come back with a bang in 2017.
If you started a new role in 2016, this is a good time to reflect on how well you’re taking to the role. How are you doing in comparison to your managers expectations? If you’ve been in your role for some time, it is also worth checking your track record for achieving expectations. Take the time to reflect on what aspects of your performance could do with revamping.
Review where you are against your deliverables
Make a list of what you need to deliver for the rest of this year and make a note of where you are against each of them. Be brutally honest with yourself and devise a score system for each. You can use a score of 1 to 10, 1 being way off the mark and 10 being spot on where you need to be. Or use a RAG rating approach where Red would mean way off the mark and Green would mean spot on. Whichever approach you use, keep it simple. The objective is to establish a quick assessment of where you are.
Make a plan on how to close the gap
After completing step one, you may notice that you are behind in certain areas; so the next step is to create a plan that will close this gap. Take each deliverable and list the key activities that need to be completed to bring it to a successful close. At this stage you don’t need a very detailed plan, just a list of the key activities that need to be undertaken. For each activity, state the subsequent action needed to move forward and schedule that activity straight into your calendar. Set aside the appropriate amount of time required to complete it and keep on top of your tasks. The objective here is to create movement and focus on a single action at any one time.
Set some specific goals for the rest of the year to prepare yourself for January
Resist the temptation to put things off until January and make the most of the time left this year to give yourself a head start for 2017. Review the gaps that need closing and set some specific goals detailing what you would like to accomplish before your Christmas break. These need to be in line with what’s urgent and important for your organisation so you may need to check in with your line manager on this. Once you’ve identified these, make them your priority and focus solely on them for the rest of the year.
Depending on what you decide, it is important to ensure that your behaviours and your aspirations align. If you’ve decided you are content with your current performance level, are largely on track and just need to tie up loose ends, then that’s great. No drastic actions required. If on the other hand, you know you are not where you would like to be and want to make a significant impact when you return in 2017, then I would advise you go through the above steps thoroughly. Focus on meeting the challenging goals you set for December, take time to relax during the break and you will find yourself in a great position when you return in January 2017!
About the Author
Buchi Onwugbonu has more than 10 years’ experience in leadership roles for large corporates, SMEs and public service organisations. He has held senior roles in finance, consulting, operations and commercial, globally, working at companies including British Airways, Technicolor and Accenture. He is currently a Managing Director in the Telecoms and Technology sector. Buchi has a passion for helping people develop their careers and actively mentors aspiring leaders around the globe. He maintains the fundamental belief that you can take your career anywhere you want as long as you’re willing to put in the work and successfully changed his own career path on numerous occasions. You can find a copy of Jump! here: https://goo.gl/FhMMMO