New Year, Better Brand: Professionals Action Plan

New Year New ....      Ah, do you feel that in the air? Yes, that you feel is the pending Social Media posts about “New Year, New Me” that will be coming your way in 2016. Nothing wrong with it, but you know we make these decisions to change either set areas of our lives (weight, love life, etc) or the the complete thing. This major urge for change becomes real within the last few weeks of the year. The need for change is something that is within us – the need to become a better person within the current capacity of which we are.

Resolutions are simply goals, which we make the firm decision to do them. That’s all. Here is the two part definition:

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
  2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

The change in which we want to see drives from a need and/or problem that we wish to correct. The bottom line is that we want to do better! To learn about crushing your goals, check out my previous blog post. This blog post is going to take the professional aspect of what you need to be doing differently or better within 2016. As my mentor in my head Myleik Teele states often that you have to learn more to earn more. For you to go to the next level of your career, you have to constantly evolve. Simple as that. The top performers in your industry are dubbed as lifelong learners. From intern to executive, you should yearn to become a sponge about what is and what should be happening in your industry.

There are numerous things that we should be doing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly to increase our worth in self and professional. Never short change yourself – no matter what a boss or co-worker says. If I took stock in when someone told me “No” or declined to meet with me – I would have stayed in the slow lane.

Here is a quick starting 5 action plan to set yourself up for success within your career in 2016:

  1. Reflect. Yup – pretty straight forward. But in this context, you need to observe what the heck worked this year and what didn’t. As the business of yourself, you should always understand how your stock, you, are performing. To create achievable goals, you need to understand who you are before crushing your goals. How can you set goals without taking assessment of where you are currently? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
  • What areas at work did I dominate at? What did I do continuously do success in this area?
  • What did my previous year-end review say about performance? *This is a major key to know the flow and think pattern of your boss and their boss. Also think in the pattern of the Boss’ Boss – often. Think up!*
  • Where did I lack at? What duties or projects could I have placed myself into to provide myself more network or buy-in within my team, department or company? Be honest!
  • Who is within my counsel or board of directors? Do you have a great boss? Who are the stakeholders who can advise you on your career?Build your network – constantly! But the relationship should be of mutual benefit! Own your worth!
  1. Take Brand Inventory. Your brand is what are you known for. Many people connect branding/brand to companies – truth. But many also see it as logos, colors and shiny taglines. Brands go beyond that, which I will touch on in the new year. Take a virtual and personal assessment. Set up meetings with your counsel or people you admire within and outside your company. Don’t limit your brand to just within the company that provides your paycheck. After doing that, Google yourself. Yes, do it! If there is nothing up there, starting creating a digital paper tail of how great you are. Take this step further, monitor your brand and create Google Alert for your name and even your company you work at (great for conversation with upper management, trust me).  If anything, your LinkedIn should pop up.
  2. Build your Links. No matter your industry you are in – you should have a LinkedIn account. Do you know even CEOs of companies and industry influencers are on LinkedIn?  Your next boss could even be connected to you right now! Gone are the days in which you called your uncle or neighbor to ask who knew who. The theory of 6 degrees of separation is real – Thanks to Google + LinkedIn + Social Media = You network just grew my friend. If you have one – great! Take these days of PTO or your mini lunch breaks and update your profile. Remember that your profile is an extension of your resume. Recruiters and hiring managers go here when you apply for jobs or to find you for jobs. Keep in mind to highlight your accomplishments. Companies love people who WIN or look for potential wins/assets! Show off!
  3. Learn Fast, Learn Often. Going back to what I stated in the opening sentences of this post, learners are earners. Everyone is in an industry that is changing constantly. What are you doing to keep up with the ever growing learning curve? Aside from keeping up with your company – what other companies are doing is a upper hand for you. Constantly look for vantage points to use within your work. Establish yourself a resource – this is called brand longevity. Become the Kobe Bryant of your brand – always improve.  You can learn for free too – from YouTube/Google to sources like Lynda and Udemy. Also – there are tons of free webinars (you often get recordings afterwards if you can’t attend live) for things in your industry. Google is your friend, my friend.
  4. Set the tone — for your year! My Life Coach, Stephanie Alva, speaks to her clients about commanding your day, month and year. From that point, create 4 monster goals for the year. One for each quarter. From there set up mini goals that anchor into that monster goal. Doing this will allow you to see traction in that overall theme. When you see movement, you get motivated to keep going! Some examples would be to learn a set skill – like design or even meet a set person in your industry. There are action goals that will make that main goal manifest.

New Year Sticky Notes
A New Year should push you to better any if not every area of your life. This short list should spark the fire to goals you have for your professional journey. Setting your intentions along with your goals/ resolutions will make them go a long way! Write them out and have them where you can find them for constant reminders. Do a check in with where you are! Through your assessment, see what could you differently to stay on track or get back on. Never let hurdles stop you for going towards your goals. When hurdlers learn to incorporate this within their running niche, they practice. Falling often, they keep at it until it is within their DNA. Apply this same approach to your 2016! Let’s dominate!

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