In my blog “How to Get Your 2024 Career Act Together: Step 1” we talked about clearing the decks (our computers as well as our minds) in preparation for the 2024 January to April job market. Good start! YAY YOU, if you did it! Your mental wellbeing will thank you for it, and you’ll be twice as efficient servicing colleagues and clients. Show ’em just how professional you can be, with organized files, documents, and upgraded software, marketing tools, etc.
2024 Career Wish-List
Now, we need to turn our sights towards our 2024 “Career Wish List”, AKA GOALS! Take an hour, and write up a list of 12 separate items (personal goals, professional goals, professional development goals, relationship goals, spirituality goals, health & wellness goals, financial goals, creativity goals) … C’mon, I dare you to “gift yourself” with a brand new list of wants and needs for the year!
Simple fact: Unless you write your goals down on a list, and prioritize them via your calendar, you’re going nowhere — fast. There is simply no point in letting your goals fly aimlessly around your head: Get your goals off your mind and onto an actual list! Goals remain unresolved UNLESS you “take your goals to the next level”.
Seriously, all: I write up my goals every.single.year on my birthday in January. Then, I prioritize them and calendarize each item. And you know what? … For the last two DECADES, I’m happy to say I realize 90% of my goals, in real time — religiously — year over year. Easy-peasy, once you get into the habit of it.
It’s a beautiful thing. Aren’t YOU, and isn’t YOUR career worth that one hour of preparation? You’re worth it. Your life is worth it. Give yourself the chance to self-actualize! ONE HOUR OF YOUR LIFE versus months and/or years of experimentation… C’mon! Just get the goals/wish list done for the year. Then you’ll be in a position to rock your goals, you’ll articulate them better to others, and most importantly, you’ll feel more in control of your career. What’s not to like?
A new year, new goals, new opportunities! A new year is always a source of great excitement for me: My goals list is ready to go! However, writing up goals is akin to putting the cart before the horse in many ways…
As is my nature, I spent the month of December studiously upgrading my software and hardware, and reviewing all my supplier accounts to see who could stay, but more important, who could go (along with their costs!)
Then, onto the website: making notes on pages that need to be adjusted in preparation for January. While on website, I updated copyright and privacy notices.
I then studiously combed through my 2023 emails (SO MANY!) and got rid of a TON just to clear the field (and my mind!) for the coming year. I archived old email folders and set up new ones, saving even more confusion!
Next up: document folders: I went through each of my documents, re-organized, archived 2023, got rid of drafts and duplicates, and put tags on recent versions/updated documents for 2024, so I that wouldn’t spend any more time trying to decipher one version from another!
Each year, I set up a) client folders; b) a financial folder for HST spreadsheets and tax info; c) an “invoices folder” to have somewhere to park invoices; and d) reviewed my passwords/login spreadsheet, making time to update as many as possible…just as a matter of diligence. (thanks Google, for the prompt!)
I realized about 5 yrs ago, just how important having “visuals” is to brand and promote my product/services. Therefore, I made a long list of visuals to give to my marketing team, to ensure I have an adequate supply for the months ahead. Note: I know it’s not a good idea to “date” things, however, each year I upgrade ALL of my product, to reflect the new year. Using “2024” really works for me – it denotes newness, totally current materials… It’s a pain to revise every year, but I find it a most valuable exercise.
Last, I upgraded each of my email signatures (personal and professional), to include new contact info (this year adding TikTok — to my chagrin — and YouTube… and chose appropriate visuals (or tag lines, or short testimonials) to add to signature. This ensures strong, up-to-date branding, and makes each email visually attractive.
Final step was to review my voice mail signature: ensuring I state my first name + last name CLEARLY with a slight pause between the two and of course, mention the name of the company. I am always sure to include a warm, inclusive, social message advising my intention to return a call within 24 hours.
Am I ready for 2024? You betcha…Watch for next blog addressing goals for the year…
I always take advantage this season to review my basic career check list, and ensure I am career ready for the coming year… It really pays off to do an “end of year career check list”… Software and technology upgrades complete for desktop and mobile? Check. Computer and email files cleaned out? Check. Apps inventory complete and paired down? Check. Hard drive backed up? Check. Document and email files organized and ready to go for 2022? Check! Newsletters curated and updated to reflect your needs going forward? Check!
Perfect. You’re now ready to take your career check list the next level!
I got into the habit of doing year-end computer and marketing scrubs years ago! Cleaning out my computer and feeds, upgrading my software, and preparing my marketing tools really puts me in a confident spot, starting the new year. Everything feels fresh and organized — which leaves me open to creating new product, overhauling services, and generally putting my best foot forward professionally. I repeat: it feels really good but also, it’s massively empowering: a GREAT POSITION to be in, starting any new year.
I challenge you to do the same. It takes 3-4 days to get it all done, but it’s so.worth.it!
Set yourself (or a friend) up for professional success in 2022! Pay this forward and share on social, for afriend, colleague, classmate, employee, new grad, millennial, new immigrant, or anyone in your circle who is under/un-employed, and struggling to get greater career traction.
2023 demands we all get comfortable with change … We couldn’t have known that the onset of the pandemic in June 2020 would prompt so many career disruptions! Newsflash: 36 months later, working from home has become a way of life. The pandemic has resulted in huge changes to job seeker expectations and employers’ expectations. It has also prompted a true overhaul of everyone’s perspective on meaningful work! More information on post-pandemic job search best practices can be found here.
The good news: One of the most beneficial side effects of the pandemic is that there is now a profound, significant increase in proactive interaction within online groups and more openness to networking within professional communities. We are witnessing more connectedness, more inclusion, a greater appreciation for diversity and more authenticity than ever! The pandemic has certainly brought out the best in us, in terms of watching out for, and facilitating for, each other. Getting comfortable with change means that everyone can now be assured of a whole opportunity to expand their networks! In other words, connect already!
What would you like your professional name to stand for?
Need for Up-Skilling & Certification
Employers are seeking talent with greater flexibility, greater skills and greater knowledge — especially with respect to new technologies and new platforms. Demand for talent is high. More importantly, along with a multitude of new jobs and new functionalities, comes a multitude of employer demands!
Employers are on the watch for “digital currency” and “a consistent digital presence” from potential employees. They are also seeking talent that have existing — and expanding — social equity (read: connections!). Employers are inviting/incentivizing staff members to help add to in-house human resource pipelines. As an example, a great way to make a favourable impact on your employer is by helping them find qualitative leads. Job seekers must make a concerted effort, now, more than ever, to connect, connect, CONNECT! Above all, this will help you maintain your currency and digital presence, and will increase your social equity, therefore making your candidacy more attractive to employers.
There are two core areas of content that I felt important to include. First, a new, fulsome chapter on post-pandemic best practices for job search. …And second, a full new chapter on how to start your own small business. The second edition has been re-edited specifically for:
New grads/Gens Z&A/Recent Alumni — looking to get a foot in the door
Gens X & Y — looking to move up the corporate ladder
Boomers — shifting out of staff jobs into freelance or consultancy roles
New Immigrants — seeking the all-important Canadian experience that will give them a toe hold in the labour markets.
Available in hardcover, softcover, and E-book on Amazon.ca
Job search self-care: How are YOU taking care of YOURSELF during job search?
Job seekers are experiencing a sharp increase in depression and anxiety, as we have all been embroiled in the effects of the pandemic for a full year now. People are wearing REAL thin with un/under-employment. I want to encourage you to consider placing a greater degree of emphasis on self-awareness and self-care. As a result, we can collectively endure this latest lockdown and the ensuing summer slow-down for job search more organically.
8 strategies to enable “self-care” and soften the harsh reality of being under-employed…
With COVID quarantining an outstanding amount of peoples’ careers, now is the perfect opportunity to prepare for a new career in 2022. One that you have dreamed about. Below you will find some key tips on how to do just that!
Working from home has forced a lot of change on job seekers — regular methods of job search have been seriously impacted, and the competitive environment has increased ten-fold. If you are going to get after this new career, you have to make it a focused part of your energy. Here’s how.
Things to consider while creating your career wish-list
Turn Your Career Wish-List into Reality!
Writing up your “goals statements” sounds like a chore, doesn’t it? But what if you treated your goals statements as a “career wish-list” to help you identify your goals and turn your career wish-list into reality? I like to write up my goals/wish-list annually, on my birthday. As a result, each year, writing up my goals wish-list gives me a great opportunity to reinvent myself (read: out with the old, and in with the new) and to realize my goals!