Well, it’s happened again. The relentless wheel of history has rolled into another season, and that’s actually a pretty positive thing because every new season is a great reason to look at what you are doing, decide what needs to change, and set some strategic goals that will get you where you want to be.
Look At What You Are Doing
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about your job search, your workplace, or the balance between your home and career. Everyone needs to look at what they are currently doing and see the good points along with the bad. Write it down and celebrate what is working for you, even if there are some scary situations you need to deal with soon.
Decide What Needs To Change
Even a small change can make a big difference in how your workday goes, and doing some updates in your LinkedIn profile or resume will be good investments that give profitable returns. Perhaps deciding that each child does one activity at a time will give everyone some margin in their lives. You don’t need to change everything (particularly if it’s working well) but changing something around is like a breath of fresh air.
Set Some Strategic Goals
Where do you want to be ten years from now? How about next year? Are there steps that can begin to get you there? Many times a career coach can help you figure out which steps will get you there, and what will be a sidetrack you regret. If you are not sure what you need to be doing now in order to reach your goals, get some advice from people who have made it to where you’d like to be. Even if you decide not to take their advice, it gives you a better idea of what is involved.
A change in the season is always fun because it’s an excuse to mix it up a little bit, but it also is an excellent reason to revamp your strategies for success.
Most professional builders wouldn’t dream of starting on a project without a set of blueprints. The detailed drawings are essential to guiding the process of building so that no important factors are left out. The blueprints are examined, changed where potential problems are noted, and referred to during the entire process.
Your career plans should have a set of blueprints, too. They don’t have to be big pieces of paper with diagrams on them, but there should be a carefully-thought-out plan that you follow to make sure all the important factors are being addressed. You should be looking at your career blueprint at least once a year and thinking about these questions:
The end of one year and beginning of the new is a popular time for looking at things like this. But be careful about making all those New Year’s Resolutions that end up ignored in February! Most people decide to toss the blueprint they were using and start over, then they get discouraged because it is too much change, too fast, and too difficult to maintain.
There is a lot in your life that is working well, and you want to build on that good foundation with small changes instead of completely changing an area. Sometimes, it is true that you have to tear down an old building and start over but many builders will renovate a beautiful older building and keep all the good stuff. Your career is like a building in this way — most of the time, the best can be presented in a well-written resume and a new job is offered because of the good stuff you bring to the position.
A blueprint is a professional, carefully designed picture of the planned project that is followed, evaluated, and only redesigned when necessary. The blueprint for your career should be treated the same way.
How long did it take you to get your LinkedIn profile complete? For most of us, it was a process that took longer than we wanted it to because there’s so much to doing a LinkedIn profile correctly. In addition to having all your personal information entered accurately and completely, you must think about keywords, SEO, and technological issues that most people have no time to learn. But even if you have invested in professional services, without networking activity you can end up with a perfectly constructed profile that sits in the background like a treasure box in the back of the closet; there’s really good stuff in it, but nobody has opened it up to find out. The LinkedIn search engine uses complicated algorithms that are unique to the site. They factor in things like your Profile, activity, and connections to come up with relevance scores that only apply to you. A good way to ensure your profile is looked at is by taking the time to become part of the LinkedIn community, updating your profile regularly from your profile page with links to articles you’re reading in your field. LinkedIn Today lets you set up newsfeeds for your interests; that’s a good place to start. Don’t forget to add in any new factors from your work experience, etc. If your resume just was updated, do it on LinkedIn too. If you need help, ask us. The top reason to update your LinkedIn profile is because the site is not static. Your networking activity on the site keeps your profile active and gets more traffic to your page. You want to keep that treasure box out of the back of the closet and out in the living room where people will look inside to discover great things about you.