With 2006 just around the corner, it's time to start making your annual New Year's resolutions. And for those in the hunt for a job, looking to change careers or seeking growth in their current position, making the right resolution could be the key to a happy new year.
Diana Rohini La Vigne, managing director of Fire Rock Productions, a communications firm in San Mateo, Calif., says that making New Year's resolutions is more popular - and effective - than ever.
"It really breathes new life and energy into the conversation about the coming year and about job responsibilities and direction," she says. "I suspect many people start new jobs, start looking for new jobs or reconsider their current path just after the New Year. Personally, I've used New Year's Eve as my annual career-checkup to re-adjust old resolutions, make new ones and to figure out my success level of the past year."
Making a resolution shouldn't be done on a whim. In fact, it requires a lot of thought and introspection.
"Seek feedback from co-workers, peers, friends and your network," says La Vigne. "Test your resolution idea out on others to see if they're reasonable or completely ludicrous."
In addition, concentrate on setting achievable goals that are personal to you.
"Pick something you really want to work toward, not a 'should' or something your boss has asked you to change," says Alisa Cohn, an executive coach in Brookline, Mass.
Start with a personal-growth goal, such as getting in touch with your values or working on listening skills.
"Write a short essay about what you will do differently when you achieve that goal," says Cohn. "Go through a scenario that you will handle in a certain way? How will this feel to you?"
La Vigne warns not to attempt changing your entire life and career in 2006. It's not just an attainable goal.
"Make an agreement with yourself to achieve the smaller stepping stones on the way to the big picture," La Vigne says. "It's better to have 10 goals of which you achieve nine, rather than having one massive goal you miss by only 10 percent."
Once you've set your goals for the New Year, be sure to share them with certain people.
"Vocalize your goals to your co-workers, friends, family and your support network," says La Vigne. "Make sure the group is your vocal support system, not your secret arch enemies. This way, when you are starting down the wrong path, your support system can be the ones to help you get back on track during the year."
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