Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Looking Back on 2005

As you look back on 2005, how would you rate your professional accomplishments?

  • What were the highlights? As strange as it may seem, it’s important to take note of things that you did well. Don’t be shy – write them down! Why? Because these descriptions can come in handy later (at your year-end performance review with your manager, or on your next interview with a recruiter). Besides if you don’t write it down, you’ll probably forget subtle details that could make your story that much more compelling.
  • What were the low-lights? It’s just as important to keep track of the things that didn’t go quite as well as you would’ve hoped. Why? Having a clear sense of what areas you’d to like improve can help you focus and channel your energies. It also will help you identify the resources you’ll need to make the changes become a reality.

Based on your reflection, what professional goals will you set for 2006?

And, what resources and experiences will you seek to help you accomplish those goals? How about ...

  • Classes or training
  • Mentors
  • New opportunities
  • Professional associations
  • Trusted advisors

On a personal note, I’d rate my 2005 professional accomplishments a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I was able to achieve some of the goals I set (e.g., developing the InStep Consulting website) and embark on new endeavors I hadn’t even considered, such as launching this blog!

In 2006, I plan to continue expanding the Competent Advantage TM program through the KIP Learning Center, and find new partners to bring more career development resources to this network.

I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas with you in 2006.

Until then, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 16, 2005

‘Tis the season to be jolly … not for career folly!

So, it’s that time of year again – holiday parties sponsored by your company and/or professional associations. With good sense and foresight, these events can be excellent venues for you to demonstrate your competent advantage.TM

Here are some tips to help you be the "life of the party," but NOT the subject of post-event gossip.

Before the event:

  • Get a feel for the mood and expectations for the party. Do people dress up or is business attire more appropriate? Regardless of the official attire, you should always dress to impress.
  • Will there be any announcements or formal activities? And, if so, when will they occur? The last thing you want to do is stroll into the room just as your President or CEO is making his/her holiday toast!

During the event:

  • Watch your food and alcohol consumption. Have fun, but be careful not to overindulge. This is NOT the party for you to demonstrate how many tequila shots you can drink or how many cocktail shrimp you can eat!
  • Take notice of who attends the event. In addition to chatting with coworkers, look for ways to informally connect with managers or executives. It’s not necessarily the place to give a long speech about why you deserve a raise or promotion. However, you should always be prepared to give a 30-second pitch about your role in your organization. Be sensitive to their desire to talk about business. Parties can be great occasions to discuss hobbies and other interests that identify otherwise unknown commonalities.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Take notice of when the party starts to wind down. Why? Well, do you really want to be around when the cater waiters are clearing the tables and putting up chairs? Remember, you don’t have to go home but …

After the event:

  • Make sure you have a safe mode of transportation for the evening.
  • If you do happen to connect with a new colleague, make an effort to reach out via phone or email within a couple of days. Expanding your network at holiday parties is a great way to leverage your competent advantage.TM

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Have 6 Minutes to Plan for 2006?

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and took advantage of the "early-bird" holiday sales. I'm excited about the upcoming season and the tidings it will bring to all of us in the new year.

There are many ways that we can help you discover your competent advantage. Rather than guess at what those strategies might be, I'm asking for your input.

How will you take your career to the next level in 2006?

Take a moment to complete our brief survey (~6 minutes):