Happy New Year; New You, New Career Goals

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Happy New Year! 2018 is a new year full of professional development opportunities and goals! Are you thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2018? Are you setting goals to advance your career? Now is the time!

Happy New Year! … Now What?

Maybe you've heard of a new position opening up at your current office and you think you're ready for a new adventure. Maybe you want to go back to school or take some classes to learn a new skill. What is it that you really want to make 2018 a genuinely happy new year? Where do you want to take your career in 2018?

Whether you're already dead-​set on achieving a specific status, or you're tossing around ideas, Avery Blank provides some strategies to employ along your path. Toward the bottom of her list of 10 things to do for Forbes, she brought up a point that is easily missed. "Sometimes, knowing your ultimate goal can make it difficult to see the path that can lead you there." Often, we can easily set a clear and defined goal, but the steps to attaining it get murky in our minds. So, don't lose sight of the in-​between. Stay in it to win it with a few of her tactics below.

Give yourself a mental break.

"Let your mind wander. A mental break may be the key to identifying opportunities, suggests Manoush Zomorodi, the author of Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self. Studies show people get their most original ideas when they are not being constantly stimulated and that smartphones inhibit one’s ability to set goals. Move away from technology, and allow yourself to daydream and create connections that might not otherwise be apparent. Don’t feel guilty about zoning out. This is your opportunity to zone in on your career advancement."

Speak publicly.

"To advance, you must develop your communication skills and be seen. Public speaking allows you to do just that. Speaking, like writing, also helps you to be seen by others as an expert," Blank writes. This is a great way to (literally) get yourself in front of the people who can make a difference to your future. Consider ways you can do more talking at meetings, or how you can incorporate presentations that get you noticed. Ask someone you admire to mentor you on better communication and public speaking.

Put your hat in the ring.

You don’t need to know everything or have done everything to be “ready.” You are “ready” when you know you can figure out what you don’t know. Apply for an award, or a promotion for which you may have felt you did not meet all the requirements. "To compete, sometimes you have to be confident before you feel fully competent," Blank reminds us all. You have permission to go after a position or project that you don't know EVERYTHING about! Many times, this is hard to accept. We get in the rut of thinking we're not qualified because we can't check every single prerequisite off. Want to make 2018 a happy new year? Go for it anyway! What's the worst that could happen?