2020 isn’t the year anyone would have asked for.
While it has had adverse effect on lives of people in ways more than one, the worst effect was seen on the career front – many lost their jobs or took a pay cut and those who had their job had their own set of challenges coping up with new normal.
As we step into the last month of the year, I am sure, everyone would have started the countdown to bid adieu to year!
But hey, how about using the last few days of this year to finish strong and gear up for a fresh set of 365 opportunities?
Today’s post is about making the best of the rest of the year for a grand welcome of 2021.
Let’s take a look at 7 ways to do so –
#1 Spend time on reflection
Reflect, reflect and reflect some more. While this year has tried its best to leave a bad taste, it has also taught us a lot of things. So what have you learnt?
If you have been working from home – how has been your experience? Was it easy for you to adapt to the new normal? If not, what did not allow you to? If yes, what were the other problems you faced?
If you have had a pay cut – were you able to manage with the less amount? What did you do to adjust?
If you lost your job – how have you been coping up with this loss? What have you tried doing differently that you had not in your previous job searches?
When you reflect on these questions – you will be full of emotions. And it is natural. Let them flow. Embrace them. Become one with them. It will help you reflect on the lessons you have learnt from these overwhelming experiences you have had.
It is a difficult thing to do probably, but it is imperative that you do.
Once done, take some time to write these lessons down.
Whatever you write down is pure gold. Remember, these lessons are going to be the guiding light to make the upcoming year a year of breakthroughs!
#2 Do a critical self-appraisal
This time of the year is also the time of the annual appraisal cycle. Whether or not, you will have your appraisal this year – it is imperative you do a critical self-appraisal.
If you have a job and your organisation is gearing up for the appraisal cycle, that’s awesome. You are anyways required to do this formally. So do it. Ask yourself – how did you fair in your job this year? Wear your manager’s hat and evaluate yourself the way s/he would. Would you consider yourself for a promotion. What is it that would qualify you for that? If not, what could be the possible reasons?
If you have had a pay cut, there are large chances your organisation will skip the appraisal process or do it merely for evaluation purposes. Whether it is done or not, you do yours. Wear your manager’s hat and evaluate yourself from his perspective. Would you get promoted despite the odds? If not, what did you miss out on doing?
Self-appraisal becomes even more critical in the third scenario – you don’t have job! Yes, it is utmost important you do it and in exactly similar way I just talked about. You need to wear your manager’s hat and ask yourself – how did you as a manager decide to let off yourself as a subordinate? Why couldn’t it be someone else? What skills did you not possess?
Use a pen and paper to write down all your observations.
This exercise will help you uncover the gaps that you need to bridge to get to take your career to the next level.
#3 Seek perspectives
Pick up the phone and talk to people – friends, colleagues, seniors or just a random acquaint. Connect on the personal level. You can talk to them about –
- How they have been doing? Hows the year been for them? What challenges did they face or are still facing? How are they coping up with those? You might get just get a different perspective that may give you an answer to your current problems. And if not, it a great idea to lend an ear to someone. They will feel good for sure and if they are facing similar problems, it helps you believe you are not the only one and puts you at ease.
- Information on current business scenario and problems. How has covid changed their work / business? What are the problems they are facing? How are they dealing with things in the times of uncertainty? Hearing someone’s problems can give you a lot of information about what the current market trend looks like. May be you have a solution / or the capability to develop a solution to their problems. You can propose these solutions to them and not just win a friend for life, but also improve your chances of landing a job you would love to do.
- Their view about you. This is the best time to seek feedback from people. Ask them about the perception they have about you. And be surprised! A lot of times it is not what we want to portray. And the only way to get to know about it is to ask for it. When you know that is not you, you can take steps to change it.
Seeking different perspectives from a wide variety of people will help you go a long way in your career. So go ahead, connect with people and seek multiple perspectives. As a side effect, you will also build a very strong network. Is it good or good?
#4 Set the goals for the next year
Having done a lot of soul searching by following the first 3 steps, it is now time to set your goals for 2021.
Imagine you have travelled one year ahead in time. It’s 31st Dec 2021. Where do you see yourself? What are you doing? How are you celebrating the victories you have had in the year gone by? What are you proudly boasting about?
Picturise the scenario I just talked about in the finest details.
Now write down what were you boasting about.
These boasts are going to form a strong base for the goals you want to set for 2021.
A word of special caution – don’t put off setting your goals saying, “my new year resolutions have never worked for me in the past. It is better I take things as they come;” otherwise December 2020 will repeat itself!
#5 Put together a plan to achieve your goals
Once you are clear of the victories you want to boast about on 31st December 2021, it’s time to think of how you could make those a reality.
What would it take to get there? What skills you have that can be put to use? What new skills will you have to hone? How easy or difficult it is going to be?
How can you break the final victories into interim steps? What milestones can you set?
Lastly, who can help you in achieve those victories? Who can hold you accountable and ensure you are on the right path? Who can guide you and put you back on the path if you deviate?
Think over. The questions might seem be too many and you can get overwhelmed. But don’t give up.
Put that plan on paper. It will give you great clarity.
And with that clarity, you will have a ton of confidence to take control of 2021.
#6 Craft a rattling good career story
Don’t keep the personal you away from the professional you.
The profession you is a part of you. The way you work or behave at work will always have glimpses of the personal you, however hard you try to separate them. Thus it is best, you find a common thread between the personal and the professional you and craft a rattling good career story.
A well-crafted career story makes you stand out of the crowd, instantly tells people the value you can create for them and gets you noticed. It makes you a people and jobs magnet.
Remember I talked about being aware of people’s perception about you? And if you are not happy with the one that people are talking about, you will have to take steps to change it? The only way to do so is to work on your career story and make it so ratting good that it makes people get to know the real you.
#7 Find reasons to thank 2020
Finally whatever adversity 2020 would have brought upon you, don’t hold the grudge. Let go.
Remember, 2020 will come to an end soon. 2021 will bring in 365 fresh opportunities.
But if you hold a grudge and keep cursing 2020 for the adversities that it brought to you, you will be stuck in 2020. And that will do more harm than good.
You will keep focusing on the negatives. And that will take away the joy of the positives the new year is set to bring to you.
Dwelling in the past will deviate you from focusing on the present and that will severely impact the future victories.
Instead, as talked about in my point #1, focus on the lessons that 2020 has taught you.
Adversities bring out the best in you. So, find reasons to thank 2020. Be grateful.
These are the 7 best ways I could think of, to still make the best of the rest of 2020. Can you think of more?
If you do, share with me in the comments below!