Now is the time to consider the New Year's resolutions that will move you along in your job or career. There are at least five steps that you can take to get a better job or keep the one you have, starting with a greater focus on how your work can add value for your company. Take time to think about ways that you can better track your performance at the office, how you approach deadlines and how you are exhibiting continuous improvement to your managers. By doing so, you might just be able to help make your annual performance report a little brighter.
Your career goals need to inspire you, your team and your management. As you look ahead, make sure that your goals are clearly aligned with corporate strategy and have a return on investment that you can demonstrate. Develop a mix of both short-term goals that can provide early wins and longer-term goals that add value for the company. When thinking ROI, develop a well-thought-out proposal that spells out the advantages in terms of time, money, manpower and customer satisfaction. You also need to help your company track time and dollars. It's hard to make decisions about where to cut costs if management can't clearly identify where they are. When you can show your bosses exactly where you are, both in terms of time allocated and actual dollars spent on a mission-critical project, you're speaking their language.
In reviewing the past year and looking at the year ahead, think about how deadlines were handled. When you understand what impedes meeting your deadlines, you can get answers that not only put your project back on track, but save your organization time and money. Make sure the deadlines you set are a realistic assessment of how long it will take to create a result that will satisfy the requirements of the customer and the market. Too many people mistake documentation as busy work instead of using it to get at its real value. When looking back and looking ahead, think of yourself as a gold miner, digging out valuable information for your team and your company going forward. If you can capture all the intelligence in your documentation, understand it and share it, you can create a huge opportunity to make you and your team more productive, effective and efficient. You will also demonstrate how you have leveraged existing resources in the past and how the company can benefit in the future. Finally, demonstrate continuous improvement. More and more companies are trying to pinpoint what skills will be needed to position the company for future growth. Don't skimp on new training and development, and keep your present certifications current.
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